An Insider's Experience At The Emotional Last Show Of Karl Lagerfeld For Chanel
I have been a fan of Chanel ever since I was a little girl. Forever etched in my memory are the strands of pearls on the necks of models in magazines. Not to mention the timeless, luxurious tweed jackets, the tailored pants, the Parisian hats, the brooches. These were the littlest details I noticed even while I was growing up.
Fast forward to many years, having a career within the fashion industry, it has long been my dream that one day I would be able to watch one of Karl Lagerfeld's collections for Chanel on the runway.
The Chanel invite for Paris Fashion Week
It felt like the stars were aligned when the invitation came to me. He [Karl Lagerfeld] was still alive when I received it. It actually came a little earlier than the season originally planned for me to be sent to.
When the internet broke about his demise, it goes without saying that I was deeply saddened. Yet at the back of my mind, I knew it was something that was meant to be. Imagine this scenario: I was actually initially eyeing to watch Chanel's Cruise Collection, but by some twist of fate, I was not sent there and was instead invited to this one. I was meant to witness the final show of a legend I have long idolized.
Every Chanel fan would die for the chance, (myself included), but fate had it and I was there. I made sure to make myself present to witness a very big, very emotional moment. With THE Karl Lagerfeld presenting his final collection before transitioning to a new creative director, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance.
Being interviewed by the World Fashion Channel
The Grand Palais
Check out more behind-the-scenes photos from an unforgettable show:
Chanel certainly never fails to make every detail special. The physical invitation was delivered to my hotel room together with their perfume Chanel Chance and some makeup. On the first day of the event, guests were treated to an intimate and sumptuous dinner at the Hotel Lutetia (a legendary place in Paris), serenaded by a jazz band. Needless to say it was very classy—very Chanel.
The Hotel Lutetia. (Photo: luxurytraveladvisor.com)
The day of the fashion show also happens to be the last day of Paris Fashion Week. Truly memorable, Chanel was the first show of the day. As written in my previous article, fashion's who's who were all in attendance.
Security was really tight. It was held at the Grand Palais, and the whole street was closed off from vehicles. Policemen were all over the place and each guest was asked to present a valid ID alongside their invitation. As I got inside, I found my seat right away. A show note, and two Chanel goodie bags with makeup and perfume were waiting for me.
Upon starting, a minute of silence was requested to pay respect to the legend Karl Lagerfeld. It was followed by an explanation of the setup, that feeling of being able to walk on fine ice.
Cara Delevingne opened the show. Other well-known supermodels like Vitto Ceretti followed her lead. The house muse Penelope Cruz, and it model of-the-moment Kaia Gerber among others closed the show, and as all of them took their final walk, they couldn't help but shed tears and hug one other on the runway, with "Heroes" blasting in the background.
The guests were all too emotional as well. Virginie Ward who happened to be named the new Creative Director of the brand, showed up very briefly, as if paying respect to the man's last collection and not trying to steal the moment from him.
It was pretty obvious that the show was amazing, and yet again, it left everyone speechless. Wanting a piece from Karl's final Chanel collection goes without saying—details were amazing, the color white was put on the spotlight like ethereal snow royalty. As for me? The entire experience, and simply being there at such a historical event in the fashion world was magical. Definitely one for the books!
Photography by Macky Bautista and SweetEscape. Special thanks to Aimee Hashim.