Wed, Feb 27, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Paris fashion week begins under Lagerfeld’s shadow


Models present creations by Ottolinger at the end of the fall-winter 2019-2020 ready-to-wear collection fashion show in Paris on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Paris women’s fashion week started late on Monday with fashionistas in a somber mood following the death of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld last week.

His right-hand woman at Chanel, Virginie Viard, who has now taken the reins at the iconic label, is to present what is officially his final collection on the final day of the shows on Tuesday next week.

It is still not clear how much of the collection was created by Lagerfeld, who died on Tuesday last week aged 85.

Lagerfeld had leaned heavily on Viard, his head of studio, in his final months.

The workaholic German, who always insisted that he would design until he dropped, drew his creations by hand and then handed them on to Viard to realize.

“I understand him and I can sublimate what he wants to do and bring to Chanel,” she said in a 2015 interview.

Their three-decade partnership was the motor that drove a constant reinvention of the brand during Lagerfeld’s 37 years in charge.

The creator was cremated on Friday last week “without ceremony” — as he had requested — in the presence of Viard and a handful of his closest friends, including Monaco’s Princess Caroline and fashion’s most powerful man, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault.

Chanel would not comment on whether next week’s show would include an homage to Lagerfeld, saying only that “a farewell ceremony will take place at a later date.”

Under Lagerfeld, Chanel staged spectacular shows at the vast Grand Palais in central Paris.

However, illness last month stopped him from attending its haute couture show there — the first time he ever missed a Chanel show — with Viard taking the bow at the end.

At a show in October last year, Lagerfeld went out of his way to acknowledge Viard, who took the bow alongside him.

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris has put on display four of Lagerfeld’s most famous creations for Chanel and Chloe, which he also transformed, in the first official tribute to his creative genius.

Internet resale sites have reported a huge spike in interest for Lagerfeld’s work since his death.

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