Chloe paid tribute to its longtime designer Karl Lagerfeld at its Paris fashion week show yesterday, with a compendium of his wit and wisdom left on every seat. One of the German creator’s last muses, 17-year-old Kaia Gerber-the daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, another Lagerfeld acolyte-also walked the catwalk. The “Kaiser”, who died at the age of 85 on February 19, made his name as a serious style player in his quarter century at the Parisian label known for its bohemian romance. While he became synonymous in his later years with Chanel and the Italian label Fendi, he twice led Chloe, taking over in 1974 and returning again in 1992. His arrival coincided with the rising feminist movement, with Vogue magazine calling his look “bold, confident, fun and liberating”.
Chloe said his “incalculable genius… is eternally treasured by us and everyone who felt the freedom and beauty of wearing his clothes”. The compendium of postcards featured an iconic shot by photographer Frank Horvat from 1970 of Lagerfeld in Chloe’s studio dressing the American Carol LeBrie, the first black model to feature on the cover of Italian Vogue.
Fashion week’s cutest moment
Another from 1971 with Donna Jordan, dubbed the “Disco Marilyn”, carried a typically Lagerfeld legend: “In everyday life we are forced to be practical. All the more reason to go wild at night. Wildly gay, terribly audacious. I love dresses straight out of fairytales.” Fendi and Benetton were among a number of brands and designers who paid tribute to Lagerfeld at the Milan fashion shows last week. There was little of the Lagerfeld legacy, however, in Chloe’s current designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s autumn/ winter show. She sent out a typically knowing urban boho collection, with almost every model wearing metal shell and bear claw necklaces.
Her city slickers wore their yearning for nature and the great outdoors not just on their sleeves but also in prints of a couple walking through a wild wintry Irish landscape and in rustic tartans and checks. The cut, however, was sharply urban and street as it was romantic, which has become the very Parisian Ramsay-Levi’s trademark. Her mid-calf boots-particularly the tartan ones-and her new line in glasses, as modeled by Gerber, went down a treat on Instagram. With Korean singer and actress Sandara “Dara” Park sharing the front row with Seoul-based Chinese star Meng Meiqi, the designer provided the cutest moment of fashion week so far by running to kiss her son as she took her bow after the show.-AFP