A tribute to Karl Lagerfeld – What is not black should be white

The White Shirt Project, a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, is set to travel the world after its launch at Paris Fashion Week in September 2019. Beijing is the first stop in this custom tribute tour. The tour will continue into 2020. In a collaborative effort with No55 Artspace, the white shirt tribute designs will be unveiled alongside oil paintings, inks, calligraphy, photography, ceramics, sculptures and furniture representing artistic practices of East and West. On December 7 and 8, 2019, No55 Artspace held an exclusive What is not black should be white exhibition to celebrate Karl Lagerfeld’s innovative spirit in blurring the lines between art and fashion.

The white shirt tribute designs, as well as the works of art participating in the current exhibition, represent all corners of the world and all walks of life. These include white shirt tribute designs from supermodels Cara Delevigne, Diana Kruger and Kate Moss; actress Amber Valetta; Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton; designer Tommy Hilfiger; creative designer for Gucci Alessandro Michele; Japanese artist Takahashi Murakami; acclaimed Chinese calligraphy artist Xu Jing and Chinese fashion designer Away Lee, to name a few. The works of world-renowned Chinese artists such as Chen Danqing, Shen Qin, Li Wei, Wen Hao, Gao Zhenyu, Zhou Ning, Xu Li, Yu Fan and Tang Hui will be displayed alongside Hanas Haden, Pierre Jeanneret, André Kertész and works of other renown artists.

Karl Lagerfeld selected Xu Jing, prominent calligraphy artist, and Away Lee, fashion designer, to represent Chinese creative wisdom.

Xu Jing’s inspiration was based on Karl Lagerfeld’s remark, ‘I design like I breathe. It just happens’. The Chinese character for Breathe epitomizes the transcendence of creative spirit. Li Wei embellished the shirt with colourful beads and crystals, symbolizing the colourful life of the Fashion Master.