In the ’20s Coco Chanel ushered in a sleek, contemporary silhouette by way of the now ubiquitous LBD. During his 36-year tenure at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld continued his predecessor’s legacy, creating knockout black dresses that ruled the red carpet and made for haute couture catnip to his muses for decades. Here we chart 22 of his greatest creations.
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Julianne Moore, 2016
Dazzling at the 2016 Oscars wearing a custom plunging Chanel gown accented with ostentatious glitter, inspired by the maison’s haute couture spring/summer 2016 collection.
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Claudia Schiffer, 1995
Schiffer closed many a Lagerfeld Chanel show, here proving her supermodel merit at the 1995 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a plunging corsage-detail gown.
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Willow Smith, 2016
Proving herself the ultimate muse, Smith arriving at the maison’s Metier’s D’Art 2016-2017 show in Paris, wearing Chanel, naturally.
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Kristen Stewart, 2016
Lagerfeld favourite Stewart has worn Chanel countless times on the red carpet. Here she pulls off rebel chic in a cage-detail creation first worn by Binx Walton on the autumn/winter 2016 runway.
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Chloë Sevigny, 2016
At the 11th annual Chanel Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner at Balthazar in New York Sevigny sported a leather dress and jacket and grungy lace tights from Chanel’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection.
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Emma Stone, 2017
Stone proving why she was a Lagerfeld muse at the 2017 BAFTAs in London, wearing a floral embroidered Chanel gown with matching trousers from the maison’s haute couture spring/summer 2017 collection.
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Margot Robbie, 2018
Robbie wears a ruffled Chanel LBD with tasselled details from the house’s haute couture autumn/winter 2017 collection at the Charles Finch And Chanel Pre-Oscar Awards Dinner in Beverly Hills.
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Cameron Diaz, 2007
Diaz dazzled at the Shrek the Third London premiere wearing a Chanel camelia-motif halterneck dress.
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Kristen Stewart, 2010
The longtime Lagerfeld muse sported a sculptural strapless gown with ’80s aplomb at the Met Gala in 2010.
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Lily Allen, 2010
Allen arriving on the red carpet at the Brit Awards 2010 in a bedazzling and lacquered Chanel creation from the brand’s pre-fall 2010 Paris-Shanghai collection, just one of numerous times she shimmered in the brand.
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Keira Knightley, 2019
Knightley—who also chose a sorbet pink Chanel gown for her 2015 nuptials—smoulders in haute couture at the world Premiere of The Aftermath in London in 2019.
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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 2019
Roaring onto the Met Gala red carpet in 2019 in matching hell-for-leather vintage Chanel.
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Tessa Thompson, 2019
Thomspon wore a haute couture silk muslin bustier dress embroidered with gold beads to the Oscars in 2019, her favourite piece from the Parisian maison’s opulent collection.
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Devon Aoki, 2007
Aoki making a case for the super short LBD while attending the Chanel Cruise 2007-20089 show in Santa Monica, California.
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Penelope Cruz, 2020
Rarely seen on the red carpet in anything but Chanel, Cruz oozes voluminous camelia-motif glamour at the 2020 Oscars, inspired by a gown from the maison’s spring/summer 1995 collection.
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Kirsten Dunst, 2013
Dunst arriving at the premiere of Inside Llewyn Davis at Cannes Film Festival in a two-tone, floral-embroidered gown.
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Marion Cottilard, 2007
Smouldering in transparent lace Chanel at the the afterparty for screening of La Vie En Rose in New York City.
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Longtime muse Monae attending the 2019 Golden Globes in a resplendently futuristic gown from Chanel’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection.
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Cate Blanchett, 2007
Blanchett arriving at the 2007 Golden Globes Awards in a lace-trim Chanel creation with a dramatic train.
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Penelope Cruz. 2008
Arriving at the 2008 Oscars in LA in another elegant Karl creation, strapless, chic and adorned with feathers.
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Lily-Rose Depp, 2019
With her mother a longtime Lagerfeld muse, Lily-Rose has even joked that “Chanel” was the first word she learned how to read. Here she smoulders in a Chanel archive chain-detail gown she wore to the 2019 Met Gala.
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Chloe Sevigny, 2018
Sevigny arriving on the red carpet at the The House That Jack Built premiere in Cannes, in an elegant two tone Chanel creation, and sparkling diamonds and a red lip.
This article was first published by British Vogue.