The artistic director died in the American Hospital of Paris this morning after being rushed to hospital on Monday night, according to French media reports.
Tributes are currently pouring in for the fashion giant whose illustrious career also included stints at Jean Patou, Chloé and Hogan, and a design relationship with Fendi spanning more than five decades.
But as well as his style prowess the designer was just as well known for his hilarious and often controversial one-liners weighing in on everything from Pippa Middleton to plastic surgery, selfies to sex.
So in memory of the late and great fashion figurehead, here’s the world according to Karl Lagerfeld.
On fashion fads
“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”
On Pippa Middleton
“Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette and she is the right girl for that boy. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties. On the other hand, her sister struggles. I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.”
On how people see him
“When I was younger I wanted to be a caricaturist. In the end, I’ve become a caricature.”
“They are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.”
On cosmetic surgery
“Nothing makes you look older than attempting to look young. You can fool anyone, apart from the young. The worst are the lip operations. There are people who have it done and I don’t recognize them afterward. They look like they flew through the windscreen during a car accident and were patched up badly afterward.”
On Coco Chanel
“What I’ve done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it.”
“I’m surrounded by young and beautiful people. I hate looking at ugliness.”
“I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time. If you’re young and tight, maybe it’s OK, but…”
On not having kids
“I never wanted to have children. Because if a child didn’t do as well as me, I wouldn’t have loved it, and if did better than me I wouldn’t have loved it either.”
On short men
“Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people… the worst is ugly, short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life… they are mean and they want to kill you.”
On unsexy bedrooms
“If you see it you will think about everything except sex, because it is the unsexiest room ever. I love unsexy bedrooms.”
On the too-thin model debate
“They are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly”.
“The worst is when your friends say, ‘Remember the good old days?’ Forget about the good old days! That just makes your present second-hand. What is interesting is now.”
“Don’t dress to kill, dress to survive.”
On loving what he does
“I am a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm.”
On how he sees himself
“I am very much down to earth. Just not this earth.”
On casual clothes
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”
“The only love I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.”
“Vanity is the healthiest thing in life.”
“Work is making a living out of being bored.”
“Why should I stop working? If I do I’ll die and it’ll all be finished.”
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