Karl Lagerfeld behind the camera

The German designer and creative director of the house of Chanel reveals another of his talents in an exhibition of his photographic work in Paris.

Lagerfeld photograph, Interview July 2001
Maria Carla Boscono, Interview, July 2001 / © Karl Lagerfeld 

Until the end of October, a selection of photographs by the designer Karl Lagerfeld are on display at La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in the French capital. The exhibition, whose opening was attended by friends of the fashion maestro including French actress Vanessa Paradis and the American architect Peter Marino, features some innovative works as well as images from the world of fashion.

Lagerfeld took up photography in 1987 in response to his disappointment at the publicity shots taken of his collection for fashion house Chanel. He now shoots all Chanel's ad campaigns himself, as well as having worked with prestigious magazines such as Vogue and Interview. But his photographic interest isn't only in fashion and design as he also takes more personal pictures of his travels.

To raise awareness of his extensive work, La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie has drawn together images taken by the German designer during the last two decades. Entitled Parcours de travail (the path of work), the exhibition is divided into two parts: the first brings together key motifs from Lagerfeld's career - fashion, portraits, landscapes and architecture - while the second part focuses on his more experimental work with images.

Among the most famous photographs on display are those from Chanel's 2009-2010 season, which featured top model Heidi Mount. There are other faces from the fashion world - including Claudia Schiffer and the Czech beauty Eva Herzigova - and Hollywood is represented, too, with portraits of Jack Nicholson and Monica Bellucci.

The exhibition is particularly important to Lagerfeld, who says, "I have the odd impression that my success in fashion has intensified since I’ve been doing photography. I see a very positive and very creative relationship between the two professions.” He claims that paper is his favourite material as it is both "the departure point for a drawing, and the final result of a photograph.”

Further information:

Karl Lagerfeld: Parcours de travail

Until 31st October, 2010

La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie

82 rue François Miron, Paris