When speaking about funerals, Karl Lagerfeld had once said, “I’d rather die”. So when it came to his memorial held at the regular runway location of Grand Palais, the occasion was far from somber.
Back in February, the devastating news arrived that the revered designer across Chanel, Fendi and his own eponymous, Karl Lagerfeld, had passed away. Capturing the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe, tributes flowed in droves as close friends, fellow designers and members of the industry mourned the death of a fashion icon. Aged at 85, the creative director was cremated at a private ceremony followed by a minute of silence at the presentation of his final Chanel collection, shortly after.
During this week’s Paris Fashion Week Men’s, over 1,000 guests which included the likes of Anna Wintour, Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger filed into the Grand Palais in the capital of France to pay homage to the visionary. Organised jointly by the houses of Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld, the 90-minute spectacle was conceived by theatre and opera director Robert Carsen.
Guests were seated in a checkerboard-style pattern, while a lineup of performers – Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams, Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren and Chinese pianist Lang Lang – paid tribute to Lagerfeld. The walls of the historic space were dressed in images of the creative as well as a main screen which played a short documentary.
Lagerfeld was by far the most prolific visionary of our time and in his own words of wisdom: “It’s up to us to adjust to our times,” Lagerfeld said in one video. “Evolution can’t be stopped, and will not be stopped tomorrow.”