Chanel to pay tribute to fashion legend Lagerfeld with his final collection

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Flowers are laid in tribute to late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld outside the French fashion house Chanel, in Paris, on February 19, 2019. (AFP)
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The shop window of the French fashion house Chanel in Paris, on February 19, 2019. (AFP)
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Above, a poster of late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld on the facade of the headquarter of the French fashion house Chanel in Paris, on February 19, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 05 March 2019
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Chanel to pay tribute to fashion legend Lagerfeld with his final collection

  • Karl Lagerfeld died aged 85 on February 19
  • Chanel said that ‘a farewell ceremony will take place at a later date’

PARIS: Karl Lagerfeld’s final collection for Chanel will be presented in the Grand Palais in Paris on Tuesday, the scene of some of the legendary designer’s greatest triumphs.
The brand that he is most closely associated with is expected to stage a tribute to the workaholic creator, the most prolific of the past century.
Lagerfeld died aged 85 on February 19, less than a month after missing a Chanel haute couture show at the vast venue in the center of the French capital, saying he was “tired.”
Chanel said that “a farewell ceremony will take place at a later date” after the German-born designer’s no-fuss cremation attended by only his closest friends and colleagues.
But it is unclear whether Tuesday’s show, on the last day of Paris fashion week, will be given over to a homage to the “Kaiser,” who led the iconic French house for nearly four decades.
Chanel can look to few precedents for handling the occasion.
In the first Versace show after its founder Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997, his tearful sister Donatella was surrounded by supermodels on the catwalk to take the bow before a celebrity-packed front row that included Lagerfeld and fellow fashion legends Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada and Donna Karan.
The high emotion of that occasion is unlikely to be replicated in Paris, with Lagerfeld’s friends insistent that the famously dry wit would have hated a grandiose display of mourning.
There is also much speculation about whether his beloved fluffy white Birman cat, Choupette, will be present.
Lagerfeld is reported to have left a substantial slice of his estimated $200 million fortune to the cat, which is looked after by a bodyguard and two maids.
Choupette is also something of a social media star, with a large Twitter following.
The catwalk tributes to Lagerfeld began in Milan, where his final collection for Fendi, the Italian brand he had led since 1965, was shown only two days after his death.
The Fendi family turned the show into a hasty memorial, showing a video of Lagerfeld at work with the screen flashing up the message “54 years together.”
They had earlier taken out full-page ads in international newspapers showing him on the terrace of Fendi’s Rome headquarters under the headline: “Thank you Karl for the most beautiful journey.”
Silvia Venturini Fendi, an acclaimed designer herself who had worked closely with him, reminisced about a conversation they had only a few days before, saying all he was interested in was the collection.
“We are going to miss him terribly,” she added.
The French brand Chloe paid a low-key homage on Thursday to the man who spent 25 years in two stints at the brand.
A compendium of his wit and wisdom was left on every seat at their autumn winter show.
Virginie Viard, Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman for the last 30 years, and on whom he leaned heavily in his final years, will present his last Chanel collection.
The German called her his “right and left hand,” and Chanel’s owners moved swiftly last week to scotch rumors that her time as the creative head of the house will only be temporary until they line up another big name.
In a statement, its owners the Wertheimer family confirmed their “confidence in the team that worked with Karl Lagerfeld for over 30 years.”
Viard will effectively be joint artistic director with longtime executive Eric Pfrunder, who will look after the brand’s image.
Before Lagerfeld’s death, Pfrunder had laughed off rumors that the British designer Phoebe Philo, formerly of Celine, was being groomed to succeed Lagerfeld.
Chanel released one of Lagerfeld’s last interviews earlier this week, a podcast in which he extolled the virtues of the label’s craftsmanship.
“My job is to propose a fantasy,” he said.


Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

Coco Sabon. (Supplied)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

  • Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world”

RIYADH: The healing and relaxing powers of nature are at the heart of Coco Sabon’s philosophy.
Launched by Dr. Cynthia Mosher — an American living in Riyadh — the skincare firm is committed to sourcing high-quality, natural oriental ingredients that provide the skin with gentle care and nourishment.
“I launched Coco Sabon in November 2015 at Alfaisal University’s first bazaar,” she said.
Mosher, who completed a bachelor of science in natural health sciences, said she hoped to do something more than simply diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. She also wanted to have time for other important things and people, so now she is working as an educator, training a new generation of medical students.
She encourages people to make healthy choices when it comes to ingredients they use on their bodies.
“I fell in love with formulating and creating beautiful, natural skincare products. I continued my creative journey while pursuing my medical degree, which deepened my commitment to develop ‘do no harm’ skincare based on natural ingredients,” she said.
“Layered with my admiration of Arabian culture, the rich regional ingredients, and my passion for integrative medicine, I developed a deep sense of holistic self-care that guides my formulations. My love for the fragrances, natural remedies and skincare routines of the Middle East are the heart and soul of Coco Sabon.”
There is a growing demand for Coco Sabon products. “After years of requests from family and friends to make and sell my products, I tested the waters, so to speak. We sold out of everything that day.”
She added: “About six weeks later we were invited to participate at the Gathering in Al-Bujairi in January 2016. We had a crowd of customers nonstop for three days and again sold out of everything. It was a decisive weekend. Coco Sabon was born and we have not looked back since.”
Mosher’s family and friends offered encouragement, but one of her strongest supporters was her best friend, Audrey Wilkinson. She said: “Audrey was my supporter, helper and adviser. She now works with me, formulating and producing our candles, cremes and face care line.”
Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world.”
The brand offers a wide range of products, including soap, bath bombs, scrubs, cremes, face and body oils, perfumes and candles.
“Everything is produced by hand in small batches here in Riyadh using natural, safe and organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible,” Mosher said.
Coco Sabon believes in supporting local businesses and in sourcing the best ingredients possible. The store also designs its packaging and hand packages, labels and wraps each item, selling through an online store (cocosabon.com), Instagram, WhatsApp, and local popup shop events.
Mosher has also started offering workshops on making her products.
“Some might think that to be unwise because I could very well teach a future competitor,” she said. “Well, that’s true for the medical students I teach now. Should I withhold my knowledge for fear of them becoming better doctors and doing better? Of course not. The more knowledge we put out there, the better our society will be. The workshops also help build community.
“I connect with people who are curious, who want to learn how to create and how to make good choices for their health. I welcome workshop students young and older (my youngest so far was just 6 years old), and I encourage them to take what they learn and use it to improve their lives and that of others around them. If they make a business out of doing so, then good for them. We all have something to offer the world,” she said.
Mosher is happy that she created a job she loves. “Sometimes I miss practicing clinical medicine, but I remind myself that I am helping people make healthier choices for their bodies, their minds, their souls and the planet,” she said.
“That’s a special kind of medicine that I believe can help heal the world.”