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August 29 2014

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Lagerfeld, Behind The Lens

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There have been 53 shows of Karl Lagerfeld’s photos, but until now, not one retrospective. Well, no secret that the man doesn’t like looking back. But for the roundup at Paris’ Maison Européennee, Parcours de Travail (that’s Work in Progress), he submitted to a few reminders. The show covers everything from Lagerfeld’s photographic beginnings in 1987 to the present day. “It was very hard to edit,” admits Eric Pfrunder, who co-curated the show with Maison director Jean-Luc Monterosso. “What¹s fascinating is the multiplicity of techniques Karl uses, from serigraphy, to gelatin silver prints, resin paper prints, canvas prints…” It was Pfrunder, Chanel’s image director since 1983, who first convinced Lagerfeld to get behind the lens, for a Chanel press release in 1987.

The opening drew a horde of colleagues and favorite subjects including Vanessa Paradis, Peter Marino, Mario Testino, David Lynch, and Bernadette Chirac, wife of former French President Jacques Chirac, whom Lagerfeld photographed for Paris Match on the eve of the Chiracs’ departure from the Elysée Palace. The relentlessly busy designer/photographer himself was there, too, but odds are he’s not the type to stick around and admire his own greatest hits for long. New projects call: the launch of a capsule collaboration for Hogan, which will be presented during the Paris shows, and the 2011 Pirelli calendar he shot. He bypassed the beach for his Paris studio for that one, but it launches in Moscow at the end of November.

Photo: Jan Melka

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Dept. of Culture