The fashion community has gathered to say a final goodbye to legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, as his ashes are likely scattered with those of his mother and late partner who died of AIDS in 1989.
The German designer who famously quipped ‘I’d rather die’ than be buried was cremated in Nanterre, west of Paris.
He passed away from pancreatic cancer aged 85 on Tuesday, and although he once said that he would have no funeral and was ‘really against remembrances’, large numbers gathered to pay their final respects.
Dame Anna Wintour DBE (left), who has been editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988, and is also artistic director for Condé Nast was among the fashion greats at Lagerfeld cremation today. She is pictured with Amanda Harlech, British creative consultant and writer with a long association with Lagerfeld
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was among well-wishers saying a final goodbye to designer Karl Lagerfeld today. She is pictured left with Amanda Harlech who joined Lagerfeld at Chanel in 1996
Caroline de Monaco (pictured), the Princess of Hanover, and Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris were also seen at the cremation ceremony
Charlotte Casiraghi, the second child of Caroline, Princess of Hanover, was also in attendance. She is the eldest daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover and one of the granddaughters of American actress Grace Kelly
Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, was also in attendance at the ceremony today. She previously said of Lagerfeld: ‘Karl was my rock. He’s always been there for me, through years of friendship and creation’
Karl Lagerfeld’s coffin is carried ahead of his cremation in Nanterre, near Paris today. Dozens have gathered to pay their final respects at the ceremony
Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away from pancreatic cancer aged 85 on Tuesday, had famously once said that he would have no funeral and that he was ‘really against remembrances’
CHOUPETTE: ‘THE DAUGHTER OF KARL’
By the end of his life, Lagerfeld said his closest relationship was with a white Burmese cat called Choupette.
‘I’d marry Choupette if it was legal,’ Lagerfeld said in 2013, two years after he ‘abducted’ the cat from the Chanel model Baptiste Giabiconi.
Since then, Lagerfeld had turned Choupette into a model and social media star, earning a multi-million pounds fortune in the process.
Close: Karl was exceptionally close to his cat Choupette
Lagerfeld told Vanity Fair: ‘Choupette was not given to me. Choupette belonged to a friend of mine, who asked my maid if she could take care of her when he was travelling.
‘When he returned, he did not get Choupette back*.Choupette became the most famous cat in the world, but also the richest.’
Choupette began her modeling career in August 2012, posing in the arms of French supermodel Laetitia Casta by the Eiffel Tower.
The cat has since been used in numerous advertising campaigns, including ones of Opel cars and make-up ranges.
It is not known who will now look after Choupette.
A spokesman for his fashion brand Chanel has said ‘his wishes will be respected’ and there would be a private ceremony.
Among those in attendance were longtime editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna Wintour, Caroline de Monaco the Princess of Hanover, and Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris.
Virginie Viard, who succeeds him as creative director at Chanel and Bernard Arnault, head of the luxury group LVMH, were also present.
Model and Lagerfeld muse Brad Kroenig was pictured, along with his 11-year-old son Hudson, who is Lagerfeld’s godson.
Lagerfeld didn’t actually have any biological children, so the question remains whether the young child model has been written into his godfather’s will and stands to inherit part of his $200 million fortune.
But all the same this little boy has been very lucky to count Uncle Karl has as godfather.
The fashion designer, a notorious perfectionist, had written a manual dictating everything from the flowers to how to speak to customers offering their condolences.
It instructs employees to remove all items from the shop window and place a single bouquet of white roses with a company statement on display.
The five page document, seen by Bild, orders shop staff to ‘locally purchase a large, white flower bouquet existing out of white roses, to place in the middle of the (main) window.’
Lagerfeld writes that the roses must have 120cm (47in) long stems and should only be placed in a transparent or basic white vase.
The manual also provides staff with acceptable answers to give to customers when they offer their condolences, including ‘Thank you for your condolences’ or ‘It is a hard time for all of us’.
The statement on display, which was also published on Karl Lagerfeld’s Instagram reads: ‘The House of KARL LAGERFELD shares, with deep emotion and sadness, the passing of its creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, on February 19, 2019, in Paris, France.
‘He was one of the most influential and celebrated designers of the 21st century and an iconic, universal symbol of style.
‘Driven by a phenomenal sense of creativity, Karl was passionate, powerful and intensely curious.
‘He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time, and there are no words to express how much he will be missed.
Male model and Lagerfeld muse Brad Kroenig (left) with his son 11-year-old Hudson Kroenig (right), who is Karl Lagerfeld’s godson and may inherit part of his $200 million fortune
Lagerfeld with one of his recent muses, the daughter of Johnny Depp, US-French model Lily-Rose Depp, after his Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection show for Chanel at Paris Fashion Week
Companions: Jacques De Bascher wears a white jacket and waistcoat, as he accompanies his partner Karl Lagerfeld, wearing a black three-piece suit, in a photo believed to have been taken in the 1980s
Lagerfeld passed away in the French capital Paris this week, after being rushed to hospital.
The German-born artistic director for Chanel had looked increasingly frail in recent months, and had did not come out to take a bow at Chanel’s couture show in Paris in January, something the company attributed to him being ‘too tired’.
‘He hadn’t gone on about his illness, but battled it very bravely,’ said one source. ‘Karl was very proud of his fitness and healthy living, so the pancreatic cancer came as a huge shock.’
He had also given strict instructions regarding his funeral – or rather lack thereof.
The 85-year-old’s remains will be cremated and his ashes likely scattered with those of his mother and late French partner Jacques De Bascher, who died of AIDS in 1989.
Lagerfeld had told de Bascher’s biographer Marie Ottavi that some of his ashes were being stored ‘somewhere secret. One day they will be added to mine.’
He had also expressed a desire to be buried with his beloved pet cat Choupette, however she survived him and is now named as a potential heiress to his vast fortune.
‘His wishes will be respected,’ a Chanel spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
She added that as per Lagerfeld’s wishes – he once famously said: ‘There will be no funeral. I’d rather die!’ – there will be no ceremony.
The hearse accompanied by a police escort at the cremation of famous German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld in Nanterre, near Paris
Large crowds of Lagerfeld’s friends and family gathered to pay their respects today after he died on February 19 from pancreatic cancer
How Karl Lagerfeld transformed Chanel from an ailing label known for prim tweed suits to a celeb favourite with rockstar edge (but failed to win back the royals after acerbic remarks on the Middletons)
The late Karl Lagerfeld may have reversed the fortunes of ailing fashion label Chanel, but the fashion chief never succeeded in winning over the royal family.
The designer, who died on Tuesday aged 85, is widely credited with overhauling the French luxury house, once known for its sensible tweed two-pieces, into a cutting-edge fashion powerhouse synonymous with smudged eyeliner, show-stopping couture and futuristic minis.
When he took the helm of Chanel in 1983, he shifted focus away from fragrance and accessories and focused on updating its heritage pieces, injecting much-needed life into its couture line following the death of legendary founder Coco Chanel.
As of 2019, he he boasted an A-list following including the likes of Keira Knightley and Kristen Stewart and Chanel was turning over around $10bn (£7.7bn) a year.
Chanel has undergone an image overhaul of epic proportions, from tweed two-pieces to futuristic minis (pictured: Kristen Stewart in Chanel at the Cannes Film Festival, May 2018)
The way they were: A navy two-piece suit on the Chanel runway in Paris, one of Lagerfeld’s first shows for the French fashion house’s AW 1983-1984 collection
Despite his celebrity clientele, Lagerfeld failed to secure a coveted spot in the royal wardrobe and, unlike other major luxury houses such as Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, was widely snubbed by Palace stylists.
The Duchess of Cambridge has notably worn Chanel just once – during a visit to the French capital in 2017 – while the Duchess of Sussex has not been seen in the label since her pre-royal days.
Insiders had long suspected the royal snub was linked to Lagerfeld’s acid-tongued remarks about the Middletons; after the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, he famously said Kate has a ‘nice silhouette’, but that sister Pippa Middleton ‘struggles’.
Speaking to a German magazine, he said: ‘Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette and she is the right girl for that boy. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties.’
The late Princess of Wales once favoured Lagerfeld’s designs (pictured in a Chanel suit in Windsor, 1997) but she later refused to wear Chanel because it reminded her of Charles
Keira Knightley in Chanel couture for the Atonement premiere at the Venice Film Festival in August 2007. The actress is a Chanel ambassador and has starred in fragrance adverts
‘On the other hand, her sister struggles,’ the designer added. ‘I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.’
While the late Princess of Wales once favoured Lagerfeld’s designs, she later refused to wear Chanel because its iconic double-C emblem ‘reminded her of Charles and Camilla’.
Chanel sources confirmed on Tuesday that Lagerfeld had died in Paris at the age of 85 following a period of ill health.
His death comes after he missed the Chanel haute couture show in Paris in January for the first time since his arrival in 1983.
The Duchess of Cambridge has notably worn Chanel just once – during a visit to the French capital in 2017 (pictured during a visit to Les Invalides military hospital)
Lagerfeld was also the creative director of Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi, as well as his eponymous fashion label, which he launched in 1984.
The designer had worked with the likes of Chloé and H&M, and was also an acclaimed photographer, having gone behind the lens for a number of high fashion magazines and for his own fashion campaigns.
Regarded as one of the most important fashion visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries, he was known for regularly wearing sunglasses and a black suit with a white shirt, with his grey hair pulled back into a ponytail.
Runway shows that made Chanel the hottest ticket at Fashion Week