Karl Lagerfeld’s Final Collection for Chanel



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Karl Lagerfeld famously said many things, and one of them was that he did not like funerals. “I do not want anyone to come to mine. Do what you want with the ashes,” he told Vanessa Gregoriadis in a 2002 profile in New York. “Send them down the garbage chute.”

If guests at Chanel’s fall 2019 show needed any further indication that this presentation, Lagerfeld’s final collection after his passing on February 19, wouldn’t mark the occasion in any remarkable way, a simple drawing of Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel on each seat read “and the beat goes on.” There was a minute of silence to mark the occasion and that was that.

So in many ways it was just another Chanel collection with another fantastical set: this time an Alpine ski town complete with piles of snow and smoking chimneys and après-ski clothes. There were chunky knit sweaters and skirts worn with shearling boots; loose, long menswear inspired coats in houndstooth and herringbone prints wrapped at the waist over pleat-front pants that took inspiration from men’s suiting; more classic tweed looks gave way to brightly colored puffers and zip front body suits. A series of feathery white dresses closed the show, delicate as snowflakes modeled by Adut Akech, Kaia Gerber, and Penelope Cruz, who smiled down the runway holding a white rose.

Though nothing about the show invited an emotional outpouring, the finale brought many to tears, including the models and many in the front row. The entire Grand Palais rose to its feet for a standing ovation that lasted for minutes.

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