StyleZeitgeist Podcast: On Karl Lagerfeld with Amy Odell

We reconnect with the journalist Amy Odell to discuss the problematic legacy of Karl Lagerfeld, the late designer of Chanel, and the new exhibit devoted to his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. We try to answer one of the central questions of creativity – can you separate the art from the artist? – and dive into other aspects of Lagerfeld’s life and work.

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty at the Met Museum

“Fashion does not belong in a museum,” Karl Lagerfeld told Andrew Bolton the first time they met. A fearless or an obnoxious statement, considering that Andrew Bolton is the most important fashion museum curator in the world. “Fearless” is what Bolton went for in his opening remarks at the press preview for the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “Fearsome” was another adjective Mr. Bolton used to describe Lagerfeld’s missives. Some observers may have stronger words for the late designer, who has been callous on record about feminists, people who are overweight, and victims of sexual assault. But the Met Museum is not in the business of criticism; it’s in the business of crowd-pleasing. Lagerfeld provides ample material. Besides Anna Wintour, who was in attendance but for the first time in my memory did not give a speech, he is the only fashion person who can claim to be a cultural mascot that transcends the narrow and insulated world of fashion. Ask an average person what Lagerfeld looks like and they will probably know.