Knowing that May can’t come soon enough for Karl Lagerfeld fans and Met Gala gawkers alike, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has shared more details about The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition.
“Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” will bow in the museum’s Tisch Galleries on May 5 and will run through July 16. As the name suggests, the show will trace the aesthetic and conceptual themes that continually surfaced in his collections from the ’50s up until his death in 2019. Visitors are meant to get a multidimensional understanding of the late designer’s complex creative process and collaborative relationships with “premières d’atelier,” the seamstresses who realized his creations. The majority of the 150 garments that will be displayed will be accompanied by Lagerfeld’s sketches.
The Costume Institute’s Wendy Yu curator in charge Andrew Bolton is organizing the exhibition with support from associate curator Mellissa Huber. Lagerfeld’s longtime confidante Amanda Harlech will act as the creative consultant. The Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who first met Lagerfeld in 1996, is designing the exhibition. For a multimedia touch, the film director Loïc Prigent, who documented the designer’s collections from 1997 to 2019, will produce video content for the exhibition.
In addition to tracing the evolution of Lagerfeld’s fashions from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional, the show will highlight how “the fluid lines of his sketches found expression in recurring themes in his fashions, uniting his designs for Chanel, Chloé, Fendi, his eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld, and Patou, creating a diverse and prolific body of work unparalleled in the history of fashion.” Bolton said in a statement.
Support for the exhibition and this year’s Met Gala is being provided by Chanel. Scheduled for May 1, this year’s extravaganza is being co-chaired by Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa, and, as always, Condé Nast’s global chief content officer Anna Wintour.
“Major support” is also being offered by Fendi, where the designer also worked for more than 50 years, and additional funding will be made possible by Karl Lagerfeld and Condé Nast, according to press material released Wednesday by The Met.
For diehard Lagerfeld fans, a companion book “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” will be released in May. The tome will include new photography by Julia Hetta alongside drawings by Lagerfeld as well as interviews with Lagerfeld’s premières d’atelier at Chanel, Chloé, Fendi, and the Karl Lagerfeld brand. Readers will also find personal reflections on the designer from Wintour, art historian Patrick Hourcade, Harlech and Ando.