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Karl Lagerfeld subject of career-spanning photography shows in Cuba, Italy

April 26, 2016

Karl Lagerfeld Karl Lagerfeld


Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is showing off his skills behind the camera lens in two retrospective photography exhibits.

During his tenure as creative director at Chanel and Fendi, Mr. Lagerfeld has worked behind the scenes to curate a number of advertising campaigns, using his love of photography as a medium. Mr. Lagerfeld has been the subject of solo and brand retrospectives, giving enthusiasts a glimpse of his decade-spanning career.

How Karl sees the world

French fashion house Chanel will present its cruise 2017 collection in Havana, Cuba on May 3. Chanel’s selection of Cuba as the setting for its annual cruise presentation aligns with the brand’s practice of traveling to a different destination each year, with previous cities including Seoul, South Korea and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (see story).

In the days leading up to the presentation until May 12, an exhibition displaying Mr. Lagerfeld’s photography will be housed at the Factoria Habana.

Organized by the Alliance Française, the “Obra en Proceso/Work in Progress” exhibition will be a monthlong celebration of Francophone culture in Cuba. On display will be 200 photographs grouped by subject: fashion, architecture and landscapes.

All works have been taken by Mr. Lagerfeld and underscore his use of different camera types and printing techniques.

As creative director of Chanel, Mr. Lagerfeld often photographs and directs the campaigns created for the house. Recently, the 82-year-old designer selected actress Kristen Stewart to be the face of Chanel pre-fall 2016 titled "Paris in Rome."

Ms. Stewart has also starred in a beauty and ready-to-wear campaigns for the brand, all of which were under Mr. Lagerfeld's direction (see story).

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Kristen Stewart, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel's pre-fall 2016, "Paris in Rome" campaign

Last week it was announced that Mr. Lagerfeld would also be subject of a photographic retrospective debuting at international menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo held at Palazzo Pitti in Florence on June 14.

The “Karl Lagerfeld_Visions of Fashion” is curated by Eric Pfrunder and Gerhard Steidl and celebrates the photography of Mr. Lagerfeld. Works include Mr. Lagerfeld’s advertising campaigns, editorial features and portraits.

According to WWD, Karl Lagerfeld_Visions of Fashion is part of a three-year program organized by Pitti Immagine with the Florentine Center for Italian Fashion and the Gallerie degli Uffizi, a museum and controller of the Palazzo Pitti.

“This collaboration marks a further step in the improvement of the activities promoting the fashion business in Florence and at the same time continues our tradition, never interrupted, of high-end events hosted in the spaces of Palazzo Pitti and Boboli,” said Gaetano Marzotto, president of Pitti Immagine, in a statement given to WWD.

“Opening the program of the 90th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo with such a prestigious exhibition and supporting the project of creating a real Museum of Fashion in Florence will represent a great chance to affirm Pitti Immagine Uomo’s positioning,” he said.

Last year, Mr. Lagerfeld offered an inside view of his photographic eye with an exhibit at Pinacothèque de Paris.

Karl Lagerfeld exhibit

Karl Lagerfeld at Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey

“Karl Lagerfeld, A Visual Journey,” on view from Oct. 16 until March 20, 2015, displayed the varied images captured by the creative’s lens, from fashion scenes and self portraits to architecture and landscapes. While well-known for his work at his eponymous label as well as Fendi and Chanel, this exhibit may introduce consumers to a new aspect of the designer’s work and aesthetic (see story).