20 Essential Runway Looks From Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld, legendary designer for Chanel, Fendi, and his own eponymous label, passed away in Paris early this morning. Rumors about his health surfaced last month, when Lagerfeld was absent from two of Chanel's haute couture shows in Paris; the house confirmed the news of his death via Instagram. He was 85.
Long considered one of the hardest working and most dedicated designers, Lagerfeld transformed the way fashion is seen and worn, via his Chanel collections but also his provocative soundbites. "You can be the chicest thing in a T-shirt and jeans — it's up to you," was one of the more relatable ones.
Be it taking over the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur or building a waterfall, a rocket ship, an iceberg, or a supermarket within the Grand Palais, Lagerfeld didn't just have a vision for his designs and his shows — he saw beyond them, editing every look down to the last thread to ensure Chanel held court in fashion's ever-changing landscape. Attendees (and those who watched via social media) were constantly surprised and delighted to bear witness to his genius, which is why so many are mourning the loss of the designer today.
In the last decade, Lagerfeld created an average of 14 collections per year — which means we've got a lot of archiving to do. In the slideshow ahead, we're looking back at some of the most iconic and influential looks from Lagerfeld's time as Chanel's fearless leader.

More from Designers

R29 Original Series