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  • Chanel Then Now (2005), Edition of 20, Algraphy Drawing on Arches Paper © Karl Lagerfeld

  • Karl Lagerfeld, Self-portrait New York (2011), Inkjet on Fabriano © Karl Lagerfeld

  • Karen Elson-A Homage to Oscar Schlemmer and his Triadisches Ballett (1997), Polaroid Transfer on Arches paper © Karl Lagerfeld


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Karl Lagerfeld and his Parallel Contrasts exhibition at the Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany

Folkwang Museum–one of Germany’s more important museums, founded by Karl Ernst Osthaus in 1902–dedicates an entire exhibition to Karl Lagerfeld, the most celebrated designer of our times. The exhibition, which is entitled “Parallel Contrasts”, is inspired by Osthaus’ belief that “the artist’s material is life itself” and casts light to the multiple facets of Karl Lagerfeld’s universe. Lagerfeld is much more than a simple fashion designer, and Parallel Contrasts, which features more than 400 works, reveals the diversity of his creative output. From Chanel to Fendi and from his namesake brand to his collaboration with H&M, Lagerfeld has always known how to catch everyone´s attention.On show there will be his photos, his favorite books, various sketches from his collections, architectural models specially made for his catwalk shows, his illustrations and even a piano he has designed. “I live according the Voltaire’s motto: anything that needs explaining is not worth explaining. I hope that when people walk around the exhibitions they get a sense of what I wanted to say”, said the designer during the inauguration of Parallel Contrasts.

The exhibition, which is curated by longtime friends and collaborators Gerhard Steidl and Eric Pfrunder, covers extensively his 50-year prolific career. According to the curators, it will be more of a snapshot than a retrospective, showing Lagerfeld’s seemingly boundless creative energy, from fashion, drawing, photography and books to product design, films and advertising. “It’s a huge honor and it was completely unexpected because I’d never thought that I would be respectable enough for a museum like this. God knows I never take myself too seriously!”, said the designer that has worked on the exhibition for more than a year. Parallel Contrasts is the perfect opportunity for the wider public to come in touch with Lagerfeld’s work and discover the creative restlessness that has always pushed him to be on the lookout for the next big thing.

“Parallel Contrasts: Photography-Books-Fashion”, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany, February 15 – May 11