Mar 6th, 2019, 12:20 AM

Lagerfeld's Final Collection, and The End of an Era

By Tahira Talout
Cara Delevingne Opening Chanel Tuesday
Cara Delevingne opening Chanel Tuesday. Image Credit: Chanel
The end of an era: the father of fashion has taken his final bow.

3,800 people attended the Chanel show this rainy Tuesday morning at the Grand Palais in Paris. As security fielded guests in, dressed in their very best Chanel looks, Women’s Wear Daily journalist assistants stood by the entrances passing out Special Print Editions: an attribution to the life of Karl Lagerfeld and his contributions to fashion. Editor Miles Socha wrote on page four of the edition that Lagerfeld “took pride in the fact that fashion was no shallow, empty pursuit, but a dazzling ecosystem of creative people, an engine and mirror of the popular culture, and an industry that supported millions of jobs and preserved rare craft skill.”

What Lagerfeld brought to the fashion industry was more than just creativity, talent, and expertise. He contributed an intelligent wit and contagious energy that impacted every life he touched. And his last collection for Chanel seemed to bring it all home. The looks themselves were exquisite, detailed, refined, and somehow so Karl. Black and white tailored looks filled the runway and a few models even sported the iconic low ponytail, all set in a German Winter Wonderland that could not have been dreamt up more magically. 

Chanel didn’t necessarily want the show to turn into a celebration of Karl’s life. But since there was no official, public funeral service, for many attendees it was the first time they could gather together to really remember him. The show began with a one-minute moment of silence; an intensely emotional moment for the seemingly un-breathing auditorium. Model and friend of Lagerfeld, Cara Delevingne, opened the show in a white and black tweed checked jumpsuit. As she walked, she placed her hands across her chest in a praying motion and closed her eyes, then threw her arms up and proudly paraded down the runway for her late friend. As the looks continued on, the ambient atmosphere seemed to exude an aura of joy, gratitude, and remembrance.


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And despite the snowy scenery, the Grand Palais filled with warmth and enthusiastic admiration as the finale began and the thousands of guests rose to their feet. Even the models began to clap with the audience, as at that moment, it seemed all of Paris was honoring Lagerfeld’s brilliant career. Everyone moved just to have witnessed the work of a creative genius for the last time. It was history. And it was just how Karl would have wanted it.

Karl Lagerfeld epitomized what it meant to work hard, exude positivity, and remain humble during the process. He believed in the importance of looking forward, as he said back in 1976, “I am interested in what I am doing and what I will do, not what I have done.” He valued what it meant to live in a modern world and to utilize the resources such a modern world provides. He knew that being open to the future as it comes was essential to success. He said in 2003, “my favorite collection is always the next one.”