Saturday, 16 March 2019

C H A N E L | no more Lagerfeld

















Fairwell to Karl Lagerfeld. Immensely talented, always referred to as a genius it will be difficult to come to terms with the fact that we’ll move on without this magnanimous person. I didn’t revere him as I studied the history of his ascent in fashion and it was difficult to forget that he grew up in a Hitler’s Germany, I can honestly say I didn’t trust him. Further his criticism on topics of wealth and health irked and entertained me equally. Lagerfeld was not one to shy away from continuous controversy. He openly criticized women for their size (calling Adele fat) and said that Kim Kardashian's flashy lifestyle was to blame for her robbery in Paris. We were all thinking it. Yes we were. Lagerfeld was a walking history book and a forever epic meme.  We will forever be engaged in conversations about Karl Lagerfeld.

Back to the Spring 2019 Chanel collection. Planning this before his death he took us to a place high in the mountains on a beautiful day where it was a snow-bound haven—a slice of Chanel heaven, viewed from a distance that was difficult to bear due to his passing.

I hear there was a solid minute’s silence. And then, Karl Lagerfeld’s voiceover, from a recent Chanel podcast (this man loved every tech advancement). He spoke in French, until the last sentence, where he burst through in English about his pleasure in imagining the detonation of a surprise on an audience in, “Oh! It’s like walking in a painting!”

The Chanel girls—his crew, the latest generation he’d encouraged and quipped with in the Chanel studio since 1983—were clearly conscious of the ceremonial responsibilities they had. They trod the “snow,” hands in pockets, insouciantly proving what a perfectly considered collection of wide-legged trouser suits these were—with long, swirlingly soft, checked tweed coats he’d envisaged in tandem with his longtime right-hand Virginie Viard.

That section was amazingly poised. Tailoring is a subject du jour, but through the filter of Chanel consciousness, we saw tradition, femininity, and an energetic projection of the shape of today. Let’s put it down here: The opening, some of the wide, pleated trousers, was incredibly on point—a flipping of the Chanel tradition of opening with tweed skirtsuits—with playful snowballs of tulle and crystallized snowflakes thrown into the back of the girls.

These were the gifts he gave to fashion. He stayed present. As the models dashed away tears, and the audience stood in gratitude to applaud, the unforgettable memory of Karl Lagerfeld’s elegant, frivolous mind was lifted to highest echelon of fashion history.