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Karl Lagerfeld Unseen

The Chanel Years

Robert Fairer, Sally Singer, Natasha A Fraser, Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis


A glamorous tribute to Karl Lagerfeld’s highly influential creations for Chanel captured behind the scenes by US Vogue photographer Robert Fairer in beautiful, never-before-seen images

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Casting a new light on one of the best-loved chapters in fashion history, Karl Lagerfeld Unseen: The Chanel Years illuminates key Chanel collections and creations from behind the scenes.

From discreet client fittings in rue Cambon’s immaculate black-and-beige salons to previously unseen backstage moments that show models, hairdressers, stylists, make-up artists and Karl Lagerfeld himself at work, Robert Fairer’s stunning and high-energy photographs capture the elegance, glamour and spirit that defined Karl Lagerfeld’s shows for Chanel.

Texts by Karl Lagerfeld’s collaborators and friends provide a fresh perspective on his creative process and reveal the stories behind the now iconic designs. A treasure trove of inspiration, this publication will be a must-have reference for fashion and photography lovers alike, and for dedicated Chanel fans the world over.


'Documents the designer’s immense range with the fashion house founder’s brand codes, and demonstrates the family spirit and culture of excellence Lagerfeld inspired and nurtured'

'Almost impossible not to float away on a wave of nostalgia'
Fashion United

'First and foremost, it fulfils the raison d’etre of every good coffee table book: it in and of itself is a work of art'
New York Journal of Books

'Karl Lagerfeld Unseen: The Chanel Years is a pass not only to the backstage of the shows, but also to the Paris atelier on rue Cambon. Unique photographs reveal the secrets of the work of models, make-up artists, tailors, as well as the designer himself and his closest entourage'
Vogue Poland

'Pays tribute to a pivotal chapter in fashion history'
i Newspaper

'Behind-the-scenes photographs chosen from tens of thousands of images from the mid-1990s to 2006 immortalize not only Lagerfeld’s voracious curiosity and vast range, but also the supermodel and celebrity-fuelled golden era of fashion. Consider it your cheat sheet for the Met Gala's 2023 theme, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty"'

'If you get a little thrill from seeing hitherto undiscovered triumvirate shots of ‘00s Amber/Kristen/Linda … well, we won’t have to explain why you need this book'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback without Jacket

Size: 33.5 x 24.5 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Illustrations: 250

Publication date: 15 November 2022

ISBN: 9780500024249

Contents List

About the Author

Robert Fairer started photographing the major international womenswear collections in the mid-1990s. First commissioned by Elle and Harper’s Bazaar USA, he then became US Vogue’s exclusive backstage photographer for over a decade. His first book, Alexander McQueen: Unseen, was published by Thames & Hudson, followed by John Galliano: Unseen, Marc Jacobs: Unseen and John Galliano for Dior.
Sally Singer is head of fashion direction at Amazon. Her previous roles have included creative director of American Vogue and editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
Natasha A Fraser is an author, journalist and expert on Paris, luxury and lifestyle. Her books include Chanel Fashion, Monsieur Dior and After Andy: Adventures in Warhol Land. She has also taught at the American University in Paris and is the co-producer of Inside Dior, the two-part television series.
Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis is a freelance writer, columnist and editor for international publications. Formerly style editor-at-large at American Vogue, she has designed and collaborated with both fashion brands and art institutions.