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.


Louis Vuitton pulls Michael Jackson-themed items from collection

Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse in a new documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’. Above, the pop star sings with children during a June 1999 charity concert in Seoul, South Korea. (AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Louis Vuitton pulls Michael Jackson-themed items from collection

  • The collection was shown in January at the Paris Fashion week and is due to hit stores in June
  • A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the Jackson-themed items would not be put up for sale

PARIS: French fashion house Louis Vuitton has pulled Michael Jackson-themed items from its 2019 summer menswear collection following a documentary about alleged child abuse by the late pop star.
The collection was shown in January at the Paris Fashion week and is due to hit stores in June, but a Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the Jackson-themed items would not be put up for sale.
Louis Vuitton said that at the time of the event, it was not aware of the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, in which two adult men say they were befriended by Jackson and abused by him in the early 1990s.
“I am aware that in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights,” Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh said in a statement.
Abloh, an American designer who was hired by Vuitton in March 2018, said his intention for this show had been to refer to Jackson as a pop culture artist.
The documentary has caused a backlash against Jackson’s legacy, as some radio stations stopped playing his music and an episode of “The Simpsons” cartoon show featuring his voice is being pulled from future broadcasts.
Jackson’s family has called the documentary and news coverage of the accusations a “public lynching” and said he was “100 percent innocent.”
“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling,” Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke said, adding that the firm is fully committed to advocating the cause of child welfare.
Louis Vuitton is the world’s biggest luxury brand, with annual sales of more than 10 billion euros, and is the biggest revenue driver for its parent company, French luxury goods group LVMH.
The menswear unit is a relatively small part of its business and pulling the Jackson-themed items should not have a major impact on the label.