Karl Lagerfeld RTW Spring 2023

Always the first in fashion to seize on the next big thing, Karl Lagerfeld would have been all over space tourism — the next hospitality and experiential frontier — were he still alive.

Karl Lagerfeld design director Hun Kim, knowing his old boss’ proclivities well, took on the planet Mars as the inspiration for the brand’s spring collection, etching the theme lightly via sandy, reddish colors and otherworldly sunset dégradés — and with humor, injecting some Marvin the Martian green after his favorite “Looney Tunes” character.

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There were personal touches, too: White shirtdresses and smocks with removable collars based on Lagerfeld’s uniform at home for sketching and revivals of several of the German designer’s early logo treatments, including an elegant handwritten one that gives travel bags, and even sweatshirts, an Old World glamour.

Kim also plucked seaming details and volumes from the brand’s vast archive, but always extrapolated with his own ideas. Cue a wonky leopard print in those earthy red-planet shades, with some spots morphed to spell out Karl, like a word search.

He’s also made transformability a key feature of the brand, this season creating a terrific trenchcoat that can be worn three ways thanks to removable sleeves and storm flap. There was also a sporty, hooded raincoat that, arranged just so, would be elegant enough for the opera. In the men’s range, which skews genderless, the sleeves of a tailored jacket can be ripped off.

Kim oversees an expanding product universe and walked a visitor through Amber Valletta’s third eco capsule, hinged on her love of jeans and California casual cool. The studio patch-worked denim scraps into vaguely ’70s accessories, including a bucket hat and tote bag.

His Amsterdam studio has also turned out an entirely new brand, Karl Lagerfeld Jeans, due to launch early next year.

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