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PARIS — A moment’s silence for Karl Lagerfeld at his final Chanel show on March 5 marked the death of the designer on February 19, and the close of Paris Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2019 ready-to-wear season.
The nine-day fashion extravaganza showcases some of the world’s finest fashion houses to an audience of industry insiders and stars.
From the smallest to the most famous of designers, herewith some of the most memorable looks of the season.
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Well, that didn’t take long.
William Middleton, a former Paris bureau chief of WWD and W magazine, just signed a book deal with HarperCollins to write “an unconventional biography” of Karl Lagerfeld and how he turned himself into a cultural icon. Lagerfeld died Feb. 19.
Middleton, who met Lagerfeld in 1995, did many stories with him when he worked in Paris and developed a friendship along the way. Middleton is the author of “Double Vision,” about the powerful art-world family headed by Dominique and John de Menil that was published last spring.
Middleton said he had proposed a book to Lagerfeld about a year ago, and the designer was not interested in delving into his past. “I don’t think the history of Karl is the most interesting part. There are some elements of his past that are interesting. But it’s really what he turned himself into that’s so fascinating. I didn’t want to do a normal biography,” he said.
Immediately after Lagerfeld died, Middleton wrote a three-page proposal and e-mailed his agent, Binky Urban at ICM. “By 9 a.m., she had me on the phone [with HarperCollins vice president and executive editor Sara Nelson] and we had a contract the next week. It all
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Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …
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Tuesday morning, Chanel presented its fall 2019 collection, the last designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld, in Paris.
Designing for Chanel since 1983, Lagerfeld’s final Chanel collection was presented amid a snowy mountain village backdrop. Many of his former muses, including Cara Delevingne, Kaia Gerber and Penélope Cruz, walked the runway, showing off the designer’s last creations.
Before the show, WWD spoke with show-goers on their memories with the late designer.
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The last ready-to-wear show Lagerfeld worked on before his death was a beautiful celebration of Chanel and the designer’s staggering imagination.
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Chanel doesn’t sell its products online, but that doesn’t prevent it from catching up with the digital revolution.
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PARIS—“Sad. That’s how the Front Row feels about Karl Lagerfeld’s death,” said Paris-based fashion journalist Jessica Michault. “It’s the end of an era. The cutting of a cord. Lagerfeld so beautifully understood 20th century French fashion and brought it into the future.”
As Paris Fashion Week settles into its second full day, with big shows on Wednesday including Lanvin and Dries Van Noten, snap-happy fashionista posed at venue entrances across the city. Inside, the fashion world proper went about its business. Lagerfeld, who died just over a week ago aged 85, was never far from people’s minds.
“It was really sad in Milan on the day of the Fendi show,” added Michault, a former New York Times fashion journalist. The Fendi show took place two days after Lagerfeld died. He had been creative director of the house since 1965, as well as serving as creative director of Chanel for the last 36 years.
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CLOSING CEREMONY: Karl Lagerfeld was cremated in a private ceremony in Nanterre, in the outskirts of Paris, on Friday, Chanel confirmed.
The Wertheimer family, which owns Chanel, attended the ceremony at the Mont Valérien crematorium, joined by Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion and Chanel SAS, according to a spokeswoman for the house.
Virginie Viard, his longtime right-hand woman who has taken over the creative reins at Chanel, was also in attendance alongside a number of industry executives and friends of the designer, according to a report in Closer magazine. They included LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault, Sidney Toledano, Carine Roitfeld and Sébastien Jondeau, Lagerfeld’s bodyguard.
Anna Wintour, Princess Caroline of Hanover, Alain Wertheimer and Marie-Louise de Clermont-Tonnerre, a longtime communications executive at Chanel, gave speeches, the house said.
A number of guests, including Inès de la Fressange and model Baptiste Giabiconi, headed to the Chanel headquarters on Rue Cambon after the ceremony.
The couturier, who died on Tuesday, always made clear that he did not want a public funeral after his own death, telling Numéro magazine in an interview last year that he preferred for his ashes to be scattered near those of his mother Elisabeth and those of his cat Choupette, should she pass away before him.
According to a report in Le
Karl Lagerfeld was a master of many things, from design to photography — but his red-carpet looks were especially spectacular. With the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, WWD looks back at the late designer’s most memorable Chanel looks at the Oscars.
Historically, Lagerfeld’s take on Oscar fashion was about clean silhouettes and a neutral color palette fused with intricate, couture details such as embroidery and beading, as seen on the likes of Diane Kruger, Sarah Jessica Parker and Pharrell Williams.
Julianne Moore wore Chanel couture dresses back-to-back for her best actress win in 2015, and then again to present in 2016. Lagerfeld created a custom look in 2018 for Margot Robbie, for whom he designed a minimalist white gown with off-the-shoulder crystal embroidery, to critical acclaim.
Perhaps the most newsworthy Chanel look at the Oscars, however, came in 2001 when Jennifer Lopez wore a sweeping taupe ballgown with a transparent bodice. Only in Hollywood.
Click through the above gallery to see more of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel designs on the Oscars’ red carpet.
Julianne Moore picked up the Oscar for best actress in 2015, wearing a Chanel couture gown covered in no fewer than 80,000 sequins.
Margot Robbie wearing custom Chanel at the 2018 Academy
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These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Thursday. Kim Kardashion is suing Missguided This is not the week to mess with a Kardashian: Kim, who’s spent the first part of the week blasting fast fashion retailers on social media, has decided to take legal action against Missguided for …
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REMEMBERING KARL: Chanel is planning a farewell ceremony for Karl Lagerfeld following the designer’s death on Tuesday at the age of 85.
In a death notice in French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Thursday, the fashion house said Lagerfeld would be laid to rest “in a strictly private ceremony,” confirming what a spokeswoman for the Lagerfeld brand told WWD.
“A farewell ceremony will take place at a later date,” Chanel added. A spokeswoman for the brand said no additional details were available at this time. Lagerfeld’s final collection for Chanel will be shown in Paris on March 5, in what promises to be a highly emotional occasion.
The couturier always made clear that he did not want a public funeral after his own death, telling Numéro magazine in an interview last year that he preferred for his ashes to be scattered near those of his mother Elisabeth and those of his cat Choupette, should she pass away before him.
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Karl Lagerfeld has designed no shortage of memorable red carpet looks.
The late Chanel fashion designer was tasked with dressing both his muses, such as Cara Delevingne and Keira Knightley, along with A-list celebrities during awards season, including Emma Stone and Margot Robbie.
Margot Robbie wears Chanel Couture at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards.
No stranger to the Met Gala red carpet, Lagerfeld was responsible for the looks for both Yara Shahidi and Lily-Rose Depp’s first times attending the annual costume event. Shahidi, for example, attended her first Met Gala last year wearing a Chanel Couture tulle dress with an intricate full-length beading.
Yara Shahidi wears Chanel at the 2018 Met Gala.
Chanel spokeswomen, Julianne Moore and Marion Cotillard, also have a long history of being dressed in Lagerfeld’s creations. Most notably, Moore picked up her first Academy Award in 2015 wearing a Chanel Couture gown made with 80,000 sequins.
Julianne Moore wears Chanel Couture at the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
Click through the above gallery for more of Karl Lagerfeld’s best Chanel red carpet looks.
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Legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died at the age of 85 on Tuesday in Paris, leaving behind a larger-than-life legacy. Although the German-born Lagerfeld had his own eponymous line and was the creative director of Italian luxury label Fendi for over five decades, the name he’s most associated with is the French luxury house Chanel, where he served as their high-profile creative director since 1983.
During his time at Chanel, “the Kaiser” as he was nicknamed, helped transform the fashion and luxury industry as we know it, turning out collections that were as witty as they were elegant, a shining example of what it means to breathe new life into a legacy brand. To that end, Lagerfeld could draw as much inspiration from the life and times of Coco Chanel as he might from campy, colorful aspects of pop culture, as evidenced by his fantastical themes from Chanel shows that ranged from a full replica of the Eiffel Tower in the Grand Palais to a fully Chanel-branded grocery store, complete with shopping carts that show-goers stormed after the show.
In memory of Lagerfeld’s immense creative legacy, here’s a look back at his 20 most memorable Chanel shows of all time.
Fall/Winter RTW 2008: Chanel Carousel
For Chanel’s Fall/Winter RTW 2008 show, Lagerfeld constructed a full working carousel in the center of the Chanel runway, where models rode on larger-than-life replicas of the house’s famous quilted accessories after they took their turn on the runway. At the end of the show, Lagerfeld exited the rotating carousel to take his final bow.
Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2009: 31 Rue Cambon
For Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2009 show, Lagerfeld recreated the iconic Chanel flagship store, 31 Rue Cambon, to-scale in the brand’s usual choice of venue, the Grand Palais. Lagerfeld’s wry sense of humor was on full display with the show’s soundtrack, a mix of Madness’ “Our House.”
Chanel Resort 2009: Synchronized Swimmers in Miami
Lagerfeld turned up the heat when he showed Chanel’s 2009 resort collection poolside at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, Miami. While the collection was beautiful, Karl might have upstaged his own designs by asking the U.S. synchronized swimming team to do a fantastic closing performance.
Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2010: Bucolic Beauty
Lagerfeld once again held court at the stately Grand Palais, this time to transform it into a bucolic barnyard paradise, resplendent with a Chanel-themed barn, hay bales, rockabilly high fashion, and a surprise Lily Allen performance.
Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2010: Iceberg, But Make It Fashion
What’s cooler than cool? How about an actual iceberg, the ultimate accessory for a Winter Wonderland set that matched the shaggy, fur-embellished designs that Lagerfeld sent down the runway.
Resort 2010: Chanel Takes the Venice Lido
Lagerfeld paid homage to Chanel’s namesake designer, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel when he staged his 2010 Resort show on a boardwalk runway along the romantic Venice Lido, an enviable destination fashion show.
Chanel Pre-Fall 2013: Linlithgow Palace
Scotland served as both the locale and the muse for Lagerfeld’s Pre-Fall collection, which he showed at the darkly beautiful Linlithgow Palace. The palace, which was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, housed models who stomped down a blazing brazier-lit runway in tweeds and tartans, that honored the late monarch as much as they cheekily referenced Coco Chanel’s time spent in Scotland, with her lover, the Duke of Westminster.
CHanel Fall 2013 Couture: Post-Apocalypse Now
Science fiction took center stage at Lagerfeld’s post-apocalyptic theater for the 2013 Chanel couture show. Models walked out from a deconstructed center stage to walk between aisles of viewers who sat in theater seats in the Grand Palais.
Chanel Pre-Fall 2014: Everything’s Bigger in Texas
Full-fledged Americana might not seem like a fit for a French fashion house, but under Lagerfeld’s direction, Chanel’s annual Métiers d’Art show was one wild ride. Beginning with a drive-in movie before the show and ending with a mechanical bull at the after-party hosted at the Chanel saloon, Lagerfeld’s take on Texas was fit for a spaghetti Western, down to an unfortunate Native American headdress that drew wide criticism.
Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2014: Grocery Shopping with Karl Lagerfeld
Going to the supermarket was no chore at the Fall/Winter 2014 Chanel show, where Karl Lagerfeld painstakingly recreated a fully-stocked grocery store with all Chanel-branded wares, ranging from household cleaning items to pasta. Following the presentation, during which models walked down “aisles” with Chanel shopping carts, attendees stormed the set to loot the grocery store’s Chanel offerings.
Spring/Summer RTW 2015: Vive la Chanel!
Lagerfeld took inspiration from protest culture with his showing for the Spring/Summer 2015 show. Models took to the Parisian “streets” of the Grand Palais for a final walk that manifested in a pseudo-protest (complete with signs that read: “He for She” and “Ladies First” as well as Jamie Bouchert leading chants with a megaphone) that brought to mind women’s liberation.
Fall 2015 Couture: Casino Chanel
Casino Royale? So last season. Welcome to Casino Chanel, where Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, and mother-daughter duo Lily-Rose Depp and Vanessa Paradis all took to the roulette tables as models slinked around them. Lagerfeld’s trademark humor was at play, with the Chanel bride resembling a very chic Elvis Presley impersonator.
Spring/Summer RTW 2016: Fly Chanel Airlines
Attendees were invited to fly high — well, high fashion, that is — with Chanel airlines at the brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, where the Grand Palais became an airline terminal for the world’s most stylish jet setters (traveling, of course, with some seriously enviable Chanel luggage).
Fall/Winter RTW 2017: Chanel Conquers the Last Frontier
Leave it to the Kaiser to cap off a space-themed collection with the launch of custom Chanel rocket in the Grand Palais — all set to the dulcet tones of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” of course.
Resort 2017: Chanel in Havana, Cuba
While Chanel was critiqued for the decision to show luxury fashion (including some questionable references, like military fatigues and Che Guevara-esque berets) in the political climate, the show coincided with doors being opened to the U.S. under the Obama administration after nearly five decades.
Chanel Fall 2017 Couture: Eiffel Tower
Lagerfeld recreated the Eiffel Tower to scale for his Fall 2017 couture show for Chanel, in what might be the most on-the-nose homage to the City of Love.
Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2018: Into the Woods
Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2018 show was a return to nature — or rather, the idea of nature, as Lagerfeld recreated a lush autumnal forest within the confines of the Grand Palais for models to show off his fall collection.
Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2019: His Beach Is Better
Life’s a beach — at least, according to Karl Lagerfeld, who brought the beach to Paris Fashion Week by recreating a tropical escape, complete with a sandy runway, real ocean waves and an on-duty lifeguard. Models even walked barefoot and carried their Chanel shoes, natch.
Chanel Spring 2019 Couture: Villa Chanel
For Chanel’s most recent show, they created a villa that would look completely at home in the Italian countryside, a lovely complement to the show’s Rococo influences. Models strutted down the park-inspired runways with David Bowie-esque pompadours, but it was Lagerfeld’s absence at the show due to tiredness that people latched onto most about this couture collection.
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The passing of Karl Lagerfeld presents Chanel with its biggest creative challenge since the death of its iconic founder almost half a century ago.
Since 1983, Lagerfeld reigned over Chanel with indisputable authority, helping turn a storied haute-couture fashion house into a global megabrand with $ 9.6 billion in annual sales. His death, at the age of 85, has left long-time creative deputy Virginie Viard in charge of the collections.
Crucial to the future of the closely held brand is whether Viard can emerge from Lagerfeld’s shadow and impose a convincing vision, or whether Chanel will seek an established outsider such as Phoebe Philo, who left LVMH’s Celine last year after a decade, or Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin.
“They will look for a high-profile chief creative officer, and in the meantime they have got incredibly capable people in their team,” said Mario Ortelli, who runs a London-based advisory firm on luxury strategy. “Any designer in the world would be more than delighted to work with Chanel.”
Lagerfeld oversaw as many as eight Chanel collections a year: spring, fall, skiwear, haute couture, and more. One of fashion’s most prolific couturiers, he also produced outfits for Italy’s Fendi SpA and his own label. Recognizable for his high-collared shirts, white ponytail, dark sunglasses and black fingerless gloves, Lagerfeld had a client list that featured stars of the stage and screen, including actress Cate Blanchett and singer Pharrell Williams.
“We have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a statement.
When Chanel last month said the designer was too tired to appear at his spring-summer haute couture show in Paris, his absence made more news than the hand-stitched floral gowns, sequined tweed suits, and feather capes on the catwalk. Conversation quickly turned to what Chanel planned to do next.
The fashion house said that Viard, his “closest collaborator for more than 30 years,” has been entrusted with the creative work on the collections, “so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.”
Fashion house Fendi said it’s too soon to discuss Lagerfeld’s succession. “We intend to take the time to honor his life and pay him the tribute he deserves,” the Italian firm said in a statement. Fendi will present the latest collection designed by Lagerfeld on Thursday, as scheduled.
‘Sign of Defeat’
The sharp-tongued Lagerfeld — known for lines such as “wearing sweatpants is a sign of defeat” — was brought in to revamp the brand in 1983. Founder Coco Chanel had died 12 years earlier, and in the interim the company had muddled through, propped up by apparel licenses and sales of its No. 5 perfume.
Seeking to rejuvenate Chanel, its owners, the brothers Alain and G?rard Wertheimer, turned to Lagerfeld, a Hamburg native who’d won the prestigious Woolmark Prize for design at age 21 and by 1965 had become creative director of both Parisian fashion house Chlo? and Roman furmaker Fendi.
At Chanel, Lagerfeld quickly sexed up the brand’s iconic tweed skirt suits with more feminine tailoring and boosted use of pearls, chains, and the double “C” logo. While Chanel fiercely guards its image by crafting $ 15,000 gowns and $ 5,000 quilted-leather handbags, it’s managed to maintain a broader appeal with lipstick that can come in below $ 30 and perfumes for less than $ 100 a bottle.
Lagerfeld was “a marketing genius,” Elodie Nowinski, a professor of fashion studies at EM Lyon Business School, said before his death. “He knows how to take this elite vocabulary from haute couture and make it desirable to the masses.”
The combination of mass-market appeal and high-end exclusivity helped Chanel grow into a colossus with beauty counters and boutiques worldwide, 20,000 employees, and operating profit of $ 2.7 billion in 2017.
BNP Paribas estimated the brand’s value at more than $ 50 billion, making the Wertheimers among France’s wealthiest citizens. With other holdings such as Bordeaux vineyards, a thoroughbred horse stable, and paintings by 20th century masters, each brother has a net worth of almost $ 21 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Lagerfeld himself amassed a personal fortune of about 400 million euros ($ 453 million), according to the latest annual rich-list compiled by Germany’s Manager Magazin.
While the Wertheimers, both around 70, haven’t revealed any succession plan, they’re clearly thinking of the future. They’ve named independent board members and regrouped Chanel and dozens of subsidiaries — including suppliers of embroidery, feathers, leather gloves, and watch components acquired over the years — in a single holding company registered in London.
Long an e-commerce holdout, the company revamped its website last summer, adding sunglasses to offerings of makeup and perfume, and finally started publishing prices for its fashions and accessories online. A year ago, Chanel took a stake in the e-commerce platform Farfetch, which is helping develop digital tools for the brand’s stores.
Chanel has denied it’s planning for an initial public offering or sale, but speculation has grown as the Wertheimers have reshaped the company’s structure.
Luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Gucci-owner Kering SA are seeking to consolidate the industry while American challengers like Coach-owner Tapestry and Michael Kors Plc, private equity funds, and Chinese groups Fosun and Shandong Ruyi are also looking for increased exposure to the luxury market. But targets are few: family shareholders have continued to keep the likes of Chanel, Prada, Ferragamo, and Chopard off the market, while high valuations have deterred would-be suitors of Burberry Plc.
Chanel is “definitely a very desirable asset that is so far not open for sale,” Morningstar analyst Jelena Sokolova wrote in response to a Bloomberg query. Lagerfeld’s passing is unlikely to change the status quo for now, she said.
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Producer Paula Wagner announced today that PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL will welcome Broadway superstar, and Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal to Hollywood Boulevard for one week only. Adam Pascal will play Edward Lewis from Tuesday, January 15, through Sunday, January 20, 2019, during Andy Karl’s time off.
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The Montreal Canadiens have placed defenseman Karl Alzner on waivers
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SEEING RED: Karl Lagerfeld switched on the Christmas lights Thursday night on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, bathing the street known as “the most beautiful avenue in the world” in red light.
The designer, who helms Chanel and Fendi, in addition to his own Karl Lagerfeld brand, arrived in his Rolls-Royce shortly before 7 p.m., flanked by his personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau. He was greeted by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel SAS, alongside a phalanx of the French luxury brand’s senior staff.
Anne Hidalgo and Karl Lagerfeld
Wearing a silver-embroidered peacoat, Lagerfeld greeted a nine-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl who had been chosen to attend the ceremony by French charity Les Petits Princes, which arranges exceptional experiences for sick children.
After a 10-second countdown, Lagerfeld and Hidalgo, wearing a gold-embroidered black tweed jacket from Chanel’s 2010 Paris-Byzance Métiers d’Art collection, flipped the switch on the holiday decorations at 7:15 p.m., setting off an explosion of metallic confetti.
The holiday lights on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
The new red color scheme was chosen to match an advertising campaign marking the launch of a limited-edition red bottle of Chanel No.5 perfume available for the holidays. Red banners bearing the label’s double-C
FAMILY AFFAIR: After Chanel brand ambassador Lily-Rose Depp last year, Karl Lagerfeld himself will switch on the Christmas lights on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, symbolizing the famed retail thoroughfare’s shift toward a more upscale positioning.
The designer, who helms Chanel and Fendi, in addition to his own Karl Lagerfeld brand, is set to inaugurate the holiday decorations at a ceremony on Nov. 22 alongside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
“Karl Lagerfeld is a great designer and one of the leading personalities of the 21st century,” Jean-Noël Reinhardt, president of the Comité des Champs-Elysées, told a press conference on Thursday. “He marvelously embodies the values of French excellence that we try to promote.”
Reinhardt noted that Lagerfeld’s appearance comes at a time of intense activity on the street, with the planned arrival in the next 12 months of the Galeries Lafayette department store, an Apple flagship, and new boutiques for Dior Couture and Dior Parfums, Bulgari, Chanel Parfums, Lancôme and Nike.
The Champs-Elysées is also set to welcome new corporate offices for companies including Chanel, which will move some of its staff to the building housing the new Galeries Lafayette flagship, which is officially set to open in March, the official noted.
“Obviously, this is