Early Lagerfeld designs for auction in Florida

  • By Antiques-Art-Design Sydney

Karl Lagerfeld

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.

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.

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.

Tiziani’s founder, Evan Richards, kept Lagerfeld’s designs and sketchbooks together, as they might not have survived if they were left in Lagerfeld’s hands. In 2007, as a nearby wastebasket filled with discarded sketches, Lagerfeld told The New Yorker, “I throw everything away!”

“His sketches are much younger-looking than whoever else was sketching at the time, much freer,” said Baca who added that bidding on the sketches was likely to start at $500 each.

“It was not meant to be art, but as 50 years have gone by, it has become art because it was done by Lagerfeld,” Baca said.

For more information contact Palm Beach Modern Auctions

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