Karl Lagerfeld’s Most Defining Style Moments, According To A Fashion Director

Met Gala inspiration.
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The 2023 Met Gala will honour late designer Karl Lagerfeld with the theme Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.

Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, was an acclaimed designer and cultural icon. Credited with turning Chanel into the iconic brand it is today, Lagerfeld also brought his talent to Fendi, Balmain, Chloé and his own eponymous fashion label.

As the whole of Hollywood turns to the late designer’s work ahead of the Met Gala, we couldn’t help but join them and take a look back at Lagerfeld’s fashion legacy.

To do so, we asked marie claire Australia Fashion Director Naomi Smith to share her favourite Karl Lagerfeld fashion moments. 

Lily-Rose Depp In Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017 

Karl Lagerfeld
Lily-Rose Depp and Karl Lagerfeld (Credit: Getty)

“This dress is everything that Couture + Chanel + Karl Lagerfeld was all about. Karl could do pretty but never made it too much, it was frothy and pink but still so elegant. On Lily-Rose Depp when she was just starting to come onto the fashion circuita great moment.” 

—Naomi Smith, Fashion Director 

Chanel 2018/2019 Cruise Show 

Chanel 2018/19
Chanel Cruise 2018/2019 (Credit: Getty)

“The Chanel 2018/19 Cruise show held inside the Grand Palais in Paris is probably my all-time favourite Karl Lagerfeld moment.

The set was a giant Cruise ship named “La Pausa” after Coco Chanel’s summer villa in France, built inside the Grand Palais, where Karl staged all his famous Chanel shows with amazing sets. 

I was lucky enough to be there and will never forget Adut Akech opening the show. Straight after we all boarded the ship and partied the night away with a dance club and DJ inside, endless bars and hamburgers on the top deck with sea gulls flying over us.” 

—Naomi Smith, Fashion Director 

Abbey lee Kershaw In Chanel Spring/Summer 2010

Abbey Lee Kershaw
Abbey Lee Kershaw in Chanel 2010. (Credit: Chanel)

“Loved this show, it was so super prettyall the best models including Australian Abbey Leeand Lily Allen singing her hit song with her band.

The show was namedA Romp In The HayKarl was always cheeky; he was not afraid to make his fashion and shows fun. Everybody loved them, they were usually scheduled for the finale of Paris fashion week, the mood was always great.” 

—Naomi Smith, Fashion Director 

Daria in Chanel Spring 2004 

Daria Chanel
Daria at in Chanel Spring 2004. (Credit: Chanel)

“My favourite model of all time. This collection had all the classic Lagerfeld/Chanel trademarks, black and white, a little jacket and chain belts. Karl was fantastic at styling, he always used great accessories, from hair bows, camellias and hair pins, to the highly sort after handbags, it was a very particular mix that gave his Chanel a signature look.

Karl’s shows always had the best girlshe was always super friendly with the top models, and they all wanted to walk the show. He was also great at embracing new faces and they became instant stars after walking Chanel.” 

—Naomi Smith, Fashion Director 

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