Karl Lagerfeld may be best known for his work at Chanel and Fendi (he has lifelong contracts at both), but the designer somehow finds time to design under his own name for Karl Lagerfeld Paris, the U.S.-based diffusion line that delivers his highbrow aesthetic to a wider audience at a lower price point. While the brand has delivered mostly on sensible workwear and Karl-branded everything, the designer is now bringing his evening wear talents to a price-conscious audience, one that might aspire to Chanel couture someday but is, um, still working up the finances for it.
This month, he's introducing the "Social Collection," Karl Lagerfeld Paris' first foray into formal wear, Allure reports. The range consists of 13 gowns, cocktail dresses, and stoles that feature many of the signature-Karl touches we see so often on the Chanel and Fendi runways, such as 3D floral appliqués, fluted fishtail hems, and pearl trims. The color palette is restrained — limited to black, white, and soft pink — which falls in line with the textbook Parisian aesthetic Lagerfeld pushes forth season-after-season. Whereas you might be saving up pennies for a while to get one of those ready-to-wear garments from Fashion Week, all the dresses in Karl Lagerfeld Paris' Social Collection ring in under-$400.
This new category "[fuses] together our many years of design expertise in all things evening wear, with the new Karl Lagerfeld Paris brand heritage of classic style and elevated taste level which addresses all ages," Camille Passaro, president of Karl Lagerfeld Paris’ dress division, said in a statement. Some of the Social Collection styles are already available online, while the rest are expected to arrive late in March, both to the Karl Lagerfeld Paris website and to stockists such as Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s.