The fashion world lost one of its most-celebrated designers at the start of this year when Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February. During his career he served as creative director for two major fashion houses, Chanel and Fendi, as well as heading up his own namesake label, Karl Lagerfeld, and now, these three fashion brands will come together to celebrate his legacy through a special tribute, entitled “Karl For Ever”.
The event, which will take place during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, will pay homage to the legendary designer via video montages played on three big screens in the main hall of the 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, adding that 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 is a poignant 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 was transformed into everything from a Chanel supermarket to a space station, and even saw a replica of the Eiffel Tower erected.
“Karl For Ever” marks the first public memorial of the designer’s death. Lagerfeld didn’t want a public funeral and was instead cremated during a private ceremony in Nanterre, France. It will be an invite-only event for around 2,500 guests and will take place on 20 June.