Drawings by Karl Lagerfeld sold for almost three times the auction estimate | Karl Lagerfeld


An auction of illustrations by the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld sold for nearly triple the estimate at Sotheby’s in Paris.

The ‘white glove’ sale – where all lots were sold – brought in a total of €350,406 (£300,000) and featured an unprecedented assemblage of Lagerfeld’s fashion sketches, taken from his flats at 8 rue des Saints-Peres and 17 Quai Voltaire.

The priciest lot in Wednesday night’s sale was a colorful sketch for French fashion house Chloé drawn in the early 1970s, which fetched €40,320. The oldest was a folder of 25 sketches from 1969, also for Chloé, which fetched €32,760; its laminated sleeves also contained photographs of models wearing the designs and newspaper clippings from the collection.

Lot 20, an original file of 25 sketches and documentation. Photography: Sotheby’s

“He was a paper man,” said auctioneer Caroline Lescure. “He kept everything – it was his records.

“Lagerfeld was a fashion genius. He stayed for so many years at Chloé and Chanel, and yet he always wanted to go beyond the last thing he did. We can see this vision in his sketches.

The auction was the fourth sale of the Lagerfeld residences; the works spanned 40 years of his career, from 1969 to 2018. He died in February 2019.

Lot 82, two original fashion sketches made in the late 70s.
Lot 82, two original fashion sketches made in the late 1970s. Photography: Sotheby’s

From 1983 until his death, the German fashion designer served as Chanel’s creative director and led its modern revival, transforming the sleepy French house into a luxury behemoth.

Lagerfeld was also creative director of the Italian house Fendi, which he joined as a consulting director in 1967. After a year at Chanel, he launched his own eponymous fashion label. For many decades he designed around 17 collections a year.

His absence is still sorely felt in fashion. This week, Suzy Menkes, the esteemed fashion editor, reviewed Chanel’s couture show in a Instagram post, saying, “There are two words to say about the Chanel couture show…Karl Lagerfeld.” Without his influence, she added, “the clothes just looked dull.”

Proceeds from the sale will go to Lagerfeld’s estate.


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