The fashion world lost one of its most-celebrated designers at the start of this year, Karl Lagerfeld, who sadly passed away in February. His contribution to the industry was legendary, as he served as a creative director for two major fashion houses, Chanel and Fendi, as well as heading up his own namesake label, Karl Lagerfeld.
Now, these three fashion brands will come together to celebrate his legacy through a special tribute, entitled “Karl For Ever” during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
The event will pay homage to the iconic designer through videos of Lagerfeld played on three big screens in the main hall of Grand Palais. Interviews with his collaborators in fashion, art and culture will also be shown, which were shot in front of Lagerfeld’s impressive library of more than 300,000 books.
The tribute will be staged by theatre and opera director Robert Carsen and will also feature dancers, musicians, singers and actors who will interpret pieces of work admired by Lagerfeld.
“I wanted something full of life and unexpected,” director Robert Carsen explained to WWD how the event will be a “joyful celebration of all things Karl.”
“He once famously said, ‘A funeral? I’d rather die,” Carsen said laughing. “He would have wanted it to be a joyful moment.”
The Grand Palais was an obvious choice of location, as Chanel has presented its ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion collections there since 2005. Under Lagerfeld’s creative direction, the space has been transformed into everything from a Chanel supermarket to a space station and has even seen a replica of the Eiffel Tower erected. For Chanel Cruise 2020, the house created a train station in the Grand Palais for the show. It was the first held by Lagerfeld’s successor, Virginie Viard.
“Karl For Ever” marks the first public event since the designer’s death, as he didn’t want a public funeral and was instead cremated during a private ceremony in Nanterre, France.
He passed away aged 85 in Paris and was working hard close up until his death. Lagerfeld began his career in 1955 as an assistant to Pierre Balmain, then later joined Chanel in 1983, where he spent 36 years at the helm.
“Karl For Ever” is accessible via private invitation only for around 2,500 guests and will take place on 20 June.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK