Ahead of the Met Gala 2023, which will honor the work of the late designer, revisit the best beauty moments on Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel runways, from Devon Aoki’s punk pink rinse to Cara Delevingne’s tweed-laced ponytail.
Karl Lagerfeld once said that “beauty—or the desire to be beautiful—is in itself a dangerous motivation. It is the sum of our experiences that makes us interesting.” And yet, here was a man who knew how to use beauty to create some truly breathtaking moments—particularly during his tenure at Chanel. Ahead of the Met Gala 2023, which will honor the work of the late designer, revisit the best beauty moments on Karl’s runways, from Devon Aoki’s punk pink rinse to Cara Delevingne’s tweed-laced ponytail.
Chanel couture spring/summer 1992
All eyes were on Naomi Campbell at the Chanel couture spring/summer 1992 show, thanks to her purple pixie cut wig, worn underneath a matching purple veil.
Chanel couture autumn/winter 1992
Continuing the wig theme from the previous season, for Chanel’s couture autumn/winter 1992 show, Christy Turlington sashayed down the catwalk sporting a lacquered black pixie crop that was almost cartoon-like. This was paired with subtle feline flicks and a red lip, for a soft-focus glam.
Chanel spring/summer 1994
Drawing inspiration from hip-hop culture, Lagerfeld’s spring/summer 1994 collection was all about the streets. As for the beauty, it was quintessentially ’90s, with bare faces and spiky up-dos.
Chanel spring/summer 1999
As the ’90s drew to a close, Lagerfeld moved away from his maximalist aesthetic in favour of something more pared back. For the Chanel spring/summer 1999 show, models glided down the catwalk with softly-smoked eyes and sleek extra-long extensions, parted to the side.
Chanel couture, autumn/winter 1999
Perhaps his most mesmerising beauty look of all time, for the Chanel couture autumn/winter 1999 show, Lagerfeld cherry-picked fashion darling Devon Aoki to close the show as that season’s bride. Shrouded in a billowing cream cape, her Pepto-Bismol pink mohawk could be seen peeking out at the top.
Chanel couture autumn/winter 2001
Inspired by the Millennium bug, for Lagerfeld’s Chanel couture autumn/winter 2001, the category was futuristic. Cast in the role of bride, Linda Evangelista appeared positively angelic in a beautiful white lace bonnet, which she wore with frosted lips and shimmering silver lids.
Chanel spring/summer 2003
There was a saccharine charm to the beauty looks on Karl’s spring/summer 2003 runway show. A love letter to the colour pink, washes of magenta started at the inner corners of the eyes and fanned out onto the cheek bones, while lips were kept rosy with a hint of shine.
Chanel couture spring/summer 2005
It was all about contrasts at the Chanel couture spring/summer 2005 show, which featured delicate feathered head pieces and thick angular brows.
Chanel couture spring/summer 2010
There was something incredibly doll-like about the beauty at the couture spring/summer 2010 show. To complement their candy-coloured cutesy tweed skirt suits, models wore their hair in bouffant beehives, tied at the front with giant bows, and punctuated with streaks for a subversive edge. Skin was porcelain while lips were accented with coral.
Chanel autumn/winter 2014
For his autumn/winter 2014 show, Karl Lagerfeld treated us to a fashionable supermarket sweep, where models sauntered down the aisles in a smorgasbord of brightly coloured tweeds. As for beauty, feline flicks in neon hues added jolts of colour, while ponytails were jazzed up with multi-coloured tweed.