Lagerfeld muse Anna Piaggi dies at 81

Aug 07, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT
Italian designer Anna Piaggi is seen ahead of Vivienne Westwood's catwalk show at London Fashion Week, in west London, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. The designers are showing their Autumn/Winter 2007/8 collections.
(AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

MILAN (AP) — Vogue Italia says Anna Piaggi, a fashion journalist who provided inspiration for designer Karl Lagerfeld, has died. She was 81.

The magazine said on its website that she died in Milan on Tuesday. No cause of death was given.

Piaggi stood out in the front rows of Milan and Paris runway shows dressed in her eccentric style outfits, including funky hats and theatrical makeup.

She started her career as a translator for Mondadori publishing company, and went on to write for, among others, Vogue Italia.

Piaggi provided inspiration for Lagerfeld, who published a sketchbook of her creations and once wrote "Anna invents fashion."

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London held an exhibition in 2006 of her extensive wardrobe collection, including thousands of dresses and hundreds of pairs of shoes.