Karl Largerfield

Karl Lagerfeld | Photo: Karl Lagerfeld

It was very sad to hear that Largerfield, one of the most multitalented and hardworking influencers of the fashion industry of modern times, died in Paris yesterday. Having joined the House of Chanel in 1983, he was responsible for making the French name synonymous with international luxury.

“I hate leisure,” the designer told WWD in 2008, “except reading. I’m really a person made to work.” This kind of work ethic is one I really understand as it fits the internal drive that I also have. I find it very difficult to switch off and consider that Largerfield was similarly always thinking about ‘work.’

Lagerfeld worked tirelessly his whole life, right up to the end. He was fully engaged with his teams getting ready for the Fendi Autumn ready-to-wear collection, due to take place in Milan tomorrow. This being the final collection designed by Lagerfeld it will generate enormous interest from collectors and fans around the globe. I cannot begin to imagine the sums of money that people will be prepared to pay for the ‘priceless’ items. But one thing is for sure, it is going to make an awful lot of money for the House of Chanel. I wish the money or at least some could be used in another way, not necessarily for a charitable cause but maybe to support up and coming young designers.

There have been many rumours in recent years as to who would replace Largerfield at Chanel even though age seemed to be of no concern to him and Karl showed no signs of wanting to retire. And I do agree that age is just a number and not a measure of your ability! However, names such as Alber Elbaz and Slimane were definitely in the running as well as Phoebe Philo. Although WWD have reported Virginie Viard has stepped up I agree with my tutor who thinks this will not be a permanent repositioning.

Personally, I would like to see Phoebe Philo take over. Over the ten years she was at Celine, she redefined what it meant to dress a modern woman; her pieces were unfussy and minimalist. She understood exactly what we wanted to be wearing, sometimes even before we did. As a person who doesn’t want to one of pack, I would love to see what direction she would take the brand in especially how she would continue to reinvent minimal; the style I feel most comfortable wearing.

Rachel

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