When Karl Lagerfeld passed away on February 19, the fashion world mourned for one of the industry’s biggest, longest-running and most talented designers. And with Paris and Milan fashion weeks just around the corner, all eyes were on Fendi and Chanel. For Fendi, it included an emotional tribute and a dedicated video, admiring the work of the great couturier. For Chanel, as we learnt overnight, this meant a minute silence, a recording of Karl speaking and plenty of tears on (and off) the runway, all set to a sombre — and fittingly reflective — mountain chalet set. For those who couldn’t make it to Paris for the occasion, we’ve rounded up every must-know and must-see moment from Lagerfeld’s final show.
A minute of silence was observed
Before the show began, guests were asked to observe a minute’s silence. In order to honour the designer’s passing, a veritable hush fell over the massive Grand Palais venue, summed up vividly by WWD who wrote: “It felt like no one even breathed.” Then, with the same silence ensuing for almost the whole show, the models walked the runway in Lagerfeld’s final collection.
There were tears
As the final model walk rounded its finish, the 1000 person-strong audience rose to their feet, many in tears. Models including Cara Delevingne and Mariacarla Boscono shed tears as they led the charge to raucous applause.
Penelope Cruz was among the models
Chanel ambassador and friend to Lagerfeld, Penelope Cruz, walked in the finale of the show, wearing a snowball white cocktail dress and carrying a gardenia — Chanel’s signature flower. A symbol of purity and luxury, the white dresses closed the show with a sense of serious symbolism, the final word from one of fashion’s greatest.
The set was particularly poignant
Like the Chanel beach before it, this season’s set was one of the most memorable to date. As usual, every tiny detail was thought out, from the smoke rising out of chimneys to the Chanel-branded skis that poked out of piles of fake snow, but it was the chalet setting that bought about a certain peacefulness and reflectiveness, fitting for the tone of the show. Described by the brand as “a peaceful mountain village” on “a beautiful winter's day, in the grand nave, a place so dear to the House” the setting was fitting to be the German designer’s last: peaceful, graceful and reflective.