Claudia Schiffer, Karl Lagerfeld And The Stern Fotografie Controversy

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Claudia Schiffer has somehow managed to overcome Karl Lagerfeld’s aversion for children and mothers. Not only she’s a mother herself, but she was also photographed by the Kaiser while she was 7 months along with her third child. For a Vogue cover!

That alone should make us appreciate Claudia even more than we used to. And consider Karl’s wisdom in a comic perspective, as we always do. However, Karl’s latest fashion cum art deed managed to raise more than eyebrows: it raised the fashion discrimination pulse. Stern Fotografie is a quarterly photography magazine and Karl was commissioned for its 60th anniversary issue. He chose Claudia Schiffer for the occasion: his muse of 20 years. (the story continues with more images right after the jump!)

Claudia Schiffer Karl Lagerfeld Claudia und Karl Stern Fotografie

Claudia and Karl Stern Fotografie cover

20 years have passed since the Kaiser first photographed Claudia and for Stern, he chose 50 photos and six different covers. His all-time Claudia photo-favorites. Only the fashpeople refused to celebrate at the sight of one particular Stern Fotografie cover: Claudia Schiffer hiding under a thick layer of afrodisguise. Unarguably derailed, the photo is, nevertheless, the artistic expression of Kaiser’s usual elitism. Which should have ceased to surprise anyone (and their respective dog) for eons.

Claudia and Karl Stern Fotografie cover black makeup

We’ve even witnessed Carine Roitfeld’s black makeover editorial with Lara Stone. Which was also supposed to be a high fashion cum art gesture. The problem, I think, does not actually reside in building up (and showing) these images. The issue here, as always, is the under-representation of black (and more) models in today’s fashion. We pride ourselves with the democratization of fashion, we even have the honor of being contemporary with the first African American president in the history of the United States. And still, our catwalks remain snow white. Who should we blame now/still? (photos via 1, 2)

Claudia and Karl Stern Fotografie cover 2010

Claudia und Karl Stern Fotografie cover 2010

Claudia Schiffer Karl Lagerfeld Stern Fotografie cover


#1 Dee on 06.05.10 at 1:15 am

Very few fashion designers in France deviate from the white model. I’d dare to say that this also reflects the nationalism within France.
While the late Yves St Laurent had a penchant for African models, and justifiably so – their physicality is sublime – others don’t go there and Karl is one of them. Actually, I can’t recall Karl employing a black model – ever.
Take current laws in France, particularly about religious dress and one would wonder if they were racist and xenophobic.
We can’t criticize Saudi Arabia for caning women for minor deviations of their Islamic dress, when France is also penalizing women for wearing niqabs, but I digress.
Karl Lagerfeld is elitist and that elitism, unfortunately, extends to the models he employs. They reveal his preferences. At least YSL appreciated the diversity of femininity, employing models from various cultural backgrounds. Karl doesn’t.

#2 Adriana on 06.06.10 at 7:18 am

Karl is an old German and it shows here. That’s all I’ve to say about it. I apologise on beforehand if that sounds rude but it’s my first and second thought I laid my eyes on these photos. And that feel won’t go away……

The niqab is just the scarf that covers the hair right? I’ve to vote Wednesday for a new Parliament and I’ve chosen a man who want to allow Muslim women to wear a niqab everywhere they want. I agree! And that man is a Jew. :)
I’ve adjust myself that this is a choice and to stay here in my country. I don’t even notice it really anymore since so many young Muslim girls dress so lovely and make a real fashion statement. However I won’t and never shall condone the burqa! Never ever!!!
Sorry I got off topic…..

#3 s. on 06.07.10 at 3:43 pm

Maybe I’m naive but I can’t see the controversy in this photos.

Karl is dressing up Claudia, she is also dressed like an Asian woman and a man, is not like Carine’s makeover.

#4 Ellington on 06.08.10 at 9:33 am

I am beyond tired of white models dressing up in Black face and Asian face. It is so sad and jank.
The Kaiser does as he wishes and he is Dee and Adriana have stated an elitist and an old German ( and I take these statements not to be compliments).
I remember when the Kaiser once had disdain for Claudia and would not use her anymore. I guess all is forgiven now?!

The sad fact that we hardly if ever see models of diverse colours and backgrounds is only made sadder by the fact that these photographers imply that Black, Asian, and First Nations models are not needed when they can take a white woman and paint her to look so.
This is sad and beyond insipid.

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