The late Karl Lagerfeld was synonymous with black and white: You immediately think of his white ponytail and pristine shirt collar, and his dark sunglasses, suits and neckties.
But he appreciated color, too, which is the main takeaway from his namesake brand’s fall collection, which dabbles in deep purples, avocado green and red, too. Hun Kim, the brand’s design director, scrolled through the camera roll on his smartphone to find a photo of Helena Christensen on the runway working a color-blocked sequined dress from the spring 1991 collection, the shades and graphic punch inspired by French artist Sonia Delaunay.
Kim reprised the color blocks faithfully on knit pencil skirts and sexy tops, and let the colors leak into sequin-lapel tuxedos, suede biker jackets and eco puffers for her; worker jackets, glossy puffers and oversize cardigans for him. Kim enthused that the Lagerfeld archives are so rich, he has to pace himself.
(Indeed, this reporter went down a rabbit hole watching that 1991 show video on YouTube, the design ideas, supermodels and colors coming thick and fast.)
Kim tweaked archival Lagerfeld, stretching a sleeveless leather vest of yore with a trapunto-stitched upper into a cool pinafore that, unbuttoned, can double as a sleeveless jacket. He’s adopted Lagerfeld’s lucky number seven — also an auspicious digit in his native South Korea — to turn out biker jackets in that many colors, and LBDs in seven varieties.
But he also honors the founder’s penchant for the latest technology, fishing into the inside breast pocket of a zippered garment and extracting a little remote control attached to a wire. He flicked a switch, and its quilted surface lit up into a multicolored dream blouson.