Chanel Creates a Winter Wonderland for Karl Lagerfeld’s Final Show

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Chanel AW19 Karl Lagerfeld Last Show
Chanel Autumn/Winter 2019Photography by Marco Torri

For Autumn/Winter 2019, Chanel took us to the Alps with a poignant show featuring some of the designer’s longtime muses

1. The setting was an Alpine village

At Chanel’s January couture show, snow fell outside as guests sat among the luxuriant surroundings of a Mediterranean villa recreated in Paris’ Grand Palais. But for the house’s Autumn/Winter 2019 show – the first since the passing of Karl Lagerfeld – the snow was inside. The Grand Palais was entirely transformed into a chocolate-box Alpine village, replete with snow-capped mountains, ski chalets and smoking chimneys, on a catwalk covered in faux snowdrifts. The runway itself was snow-covered – making the shearling snow boots, shown as part of the collection, entirely necessary.

2. Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite models walked

Lagerfeld fostered a diverse family of women - united by their ease, confidence and joie de vivre. Today, many walked in tribute. Cara Delevingne – who has starred in multiple campaigns for the house – opened the show, alongside a cast of models that included Mariacarla Boscono, Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti and current AnOther cover stars Rianne van Rompaey (pictured) and Anok Yai, alongside familiar faces from the past decade of Chanel shows. Others sat in the audience – Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Karen Elson.

3. Penélope Cruz modelled in the show

Alongside those models, an Oscar-winning actress featured in the show: Penélope Cruz, who is an ambassador for Chanel and the star of the house’s Cruise 2018/19 campaign. For her Chanel runway debut she was dressed in an all-snowflake white look – a ruffled top and ‘snowball skirt’ – carrying a single white rose.

4. The collection offered a luxurious take on skiwear

As for the collection, it represented a highly luxuriant take on Alpine style – reflecting Gabrielle Chanel’s own love of sport, and Karl Lagerfeld’s intimate knowledge of and respect for her legacy. Lagerfeld’s mastery of the house bouclé tweed was demonstrated in abundance: as wide-legged trouser suits, full-length herringbone jackets or vividly toned two-sets, in teal and pink. They were timeless. 

5. It was a celebration of Karl Lagerfeld

Ultimately, the audience gathered to both remember and celebrate Karl Lagerfeld – ‘The beat goes on,’ read an illustration by the designer, placed on every seat. A minute’s silence prior to the show struck a poignant tone, yet the final spectacle – the season’s models, returning to the runway, arm-in-arm to the sound of David Bowie’s Heroes – marked the collection as one of celebration: of Lagerfeld, and the joy and delight his work brought to so many.