Peter Watson in his appraisal of among the most enigmatic people of our planet -“German Genius”- shares that “The Germans dive deeper and come up muddier!”
What was he pointing to? What does the quote convey to you?
Surely, those who love mudslinging off-roading adventures or are engaged in technicalities of installing a sewage treatment plant may view the quote differently.
But, if you viewed the context of this quote that perhaps points to the ethos of a nation that’s birthed an Adolf whose three white stripes are better known as Adidas (Adolf Dassler), Karl Marx, the Panzer brigade, even redefined Trench warfare in the First World War (read Infantry Tactics if you wish to), and well, gave lifestyle world its famous three white stripes (called Adidas) and of course, automotive brands- that, at least, half of the globe salivates after- then you’d find Deutschland has also shaped modern thought in a way few nations have or will.
Then the fact that in their immense passion for self-discovery, the Germans indeed dive deeper- go where few venture or have gone- sufficiently explains why their hands are often muddy, for no discovery was ever made sans immersing oneself amid a cesspool of challenge.
But away from the contours of glitz of a Mercedes, the technical virtuosity of Siemens, the razzmatazz of Berlin’s nightlife, the charisma of Michael Schumacher or Diane Kruger- there remains a man few might match, even fewer would supersede where achieving great heights are concerned.
Karl Lagerfeld- master of reinvention (Vogue, 1997, remember?), fashion icon according to many; exhibitor of a fiery sense of temper according to some, a man who, if you thought about it, empowered the term ‘colossus’ in his own way (well being the creative force behind Channel is just one of the things he did) as a mortal- died aged 85.
The white bun, those dark shades, the Kingly gait, and unforgettably so, dollops of élan won’t be amid us.
In so doing, the 1930-born Octogenarian fashion icon, whose ‘World of Karl’ was, is, should hopefully continue being, more than a gazette that captures the sense of the world in playful, jovial way- was associated deeply with Italian fashion label Furla as its creative director.
But that’s the boring resume part- right?
In a world where we are all, in some ways, if you thought about the excesses of marketing, influenced by a brand of some kind, Karl Lagerfeld was a behemoth at that.
Once a freelancer at Tiziani, Lagerfeld who revived Chanel upon assuming its creative leadership in 1983- something we mustn’t forget before downsizing the enormity of his talent and the reach of his influence given his no-holds-barred (sense of) individualism bid adieu to a world that both made him and also, funnily misunderstood him.
But if one were to take cognizance of what Lagerfeld achieved, then you’d find there’s a mythology that surrounds the realm he helped shape, as the Paris-resident has died, but not before leaving an un-fillable void in the fashion echelon.
Here’s a man who spent over 6 decades of his creative energies in embracing, designing, identifying and re-inventing fashion and the sense of it.
And well, here’s also who he surely reviled
Adele, Pippa Middleton, among the many he ‘slandered’ as alleged in pop culture commentary for stating his ‘opinion’, which well, he was fully entitled to, just as we are on Burkina Faso’s economic challenges, Israeli hegemony in the US, Kendall Jenner’s preferences in life et cetera won’t care much.
So well, while the body shall be raised down the ground, the soul may not be forgotten any time soon.
For what ought to be said about Karl Lagerfeld, who worked with Fendi till 1969, uncased 200 looks for Chloe and hence, the fashion world in 1974, launched his own label in 1984, among the many dazzling feats he garnered- was his own man, his own mind.
In an age where mankind, rather, read fashionkind is apparently ‘evolving’- heck, is it not, Trump’s brought attention to the red tie, polka dots on a two-piece are still be considered bearable, and anything goes in the name of retro including not just velvet sofas in loungy living rooms- the world’s come to embrace a loss dealing with which would take quite some time.