Rare early Lagerfeld fashion designs up for auction in West Palm Beach
By Jennifer Kay, APWEST PALM BEACH, Florida--Half a century after Karl Lagerfeld first drew her in a blue tunic and a plaid, buckled coat, the woman in a fashion sketch for the House of Tiziani still seems ready to saunter off the page and into the street.
January 2, 2014, 12:14 am TWN
Other women in sketches along the same wall at Palm Beach Modern Auctions are drawn in outfits just as chic, but the one by Lagerfeld stands out in a crowd — much as the meticulously groomed head designer and creative director for Chanel does himself.
“There's attitude in her,” said Rico Baca, auctioneer and co-owner of the West Palm Beach auction house.
Baca hopes that attitude and the Lagerfeld signature attracts buyers to a Jan. 11 auction of an archive of sketches for Tiziani designs.
In the 1960s, the Rome-based Tiziani designed movie costumes and clothing for Elizabeth Taylor and other celebrities. It also was one of the European fashion houses where Lagerfeld freelanced, early in his career as a designer.
Lagerfeld built his fashion legend through tenures at Chloe, Fendi, Chanel and his own eponymous brands. And the German-born designer is recognized worldwide for his white ponytail, black sunglasses and black-and-white attire that includes high, starched collars. He also has branched out into photography and film directing and has published a unique diet book after shedding more than 40 kilograms to fit into clothes cut for younger, slimmer male models.
At Tiziani, though, he was a hired hand, a young ready-to-wear designer among dozens of others doing similar work for bigger houses.
The details Lagerfeld added to sketches for Taylor and other models — earrings, a flowing hem, a jacket's trim or a specific shade of eye shadow — show the creativity of a young designer making his mark.