The late designer Karl Lagerfeld was honoured in a major memorial on Thursday evening in Paris that exhibited the same star-studded grandeur as his catwalk shows.
Lagerfeld, who died in February aged 85, was one of the most successful and recognisable figures in the fashion industry, having spent almost 70 years working in the business.
The event, dubbed Karl Forever, took place in the Grand Palais – Lagerfeld’s favoured runway location – and was hosted by luxury fashion houses Chanel and Fendi, where the designer had maintained respective roles as creative director up until his death.
Cara Delevingne, Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton and Pharell Williams were among the A-list guests, whose disciplines spanned film, music and art.
Some of fashion’s most famous titans were also in attendance, including US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, models Gigi Hadid and Claudia Schiffer and several leading designers, such as Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Artist Jeff Koons and filmmaker Baz Luhrmann also paid their respects, as did Lagerfeld’s social media celebrity cat, Choupette.
The 90-minute event featured performances from Williams, Delevingne, Swinton and Chinese pianist Lang Lang, among others.
According to WWD, Mirren performed a reading of excerpts from The World According to Karl: The Wit and Wisdom of Karl Lagerfeld, a 2013 book of quotes from the designer who was famed for his eviscerating soundbites.
“When people show their a**, that doesn’t bother me. When people show their feelings, that bothers me,’” Mirren said, quoting the book.
The service also featured clips of Lagerfeld speaking to the camera about his work, video tributes from colleagues not in attendance and several moving speeches, including one from his successor at Chanel, Virgine Viard, who described Lagerfeld as “accessible”.
“Together, we created the most beautiful collections that we could,” she said, “and today, I’m trying to continue so that everything is perfect for him.”
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