The masterful vision of Le Corbusier takes many forms: sculpture, furniture, architecture, writing, and now, high fashion.
Designer Karl Lagerfeld, a true master in his own right, borrowed heavily from the Architect of Modernity with his latest Chanel Couture collection in Paris. Fashion critic Suzy Menkes wrote:
‘It’s Baroque meets Le Corbusier,’ said Karl, explaining that his inspiration was images of a Thirties apartment by the architect of Modernism, who had set a gilded oval mirror into a concrete wall in a building high above the Champs Élysées.
Lagerfeld balances both history and modernity with streamlined silhouettes shown against a paired down runway. Gone are the usual theatrics and grand vision. In its place comes a laser focus on tailoring, interesting shapes, and reinterpreting Le Corbusier for today’s audience.
It is this marriage of past and future that Lagerfeld so aptly captures. He deeply understands that fashion cannot be just for fashion’s sake. It needs context. Designing the latest It Bag is one thing; incorporating a myriad of design influences into gorgeously detailed couture pieces is quite another. The world does not need another trend; it is desperate for authentic, beautiful design.
This same approach applies to any creative endeavor. To develop a truly artistic vision, you need context. Context does not mean overt copying, but a confluence of creative and intellectual influences. Expose yourself with an insatiable curiosity to the world around you. Study what others have done before you. Doing so will help you discover relationships between otherwise disparate elements and connect-the-dots to create a wholly unique vision. Le Corbusier and Lagerfeld followed such a path, among the many taste makers before them. What, then, could be more authentic?