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a memorial for karl lagerfeld will open in paris this summer

The event at the Grand Palais will give the world a chance to bid farewell to the beloved designer.

by Mahoro Seward
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28 May 2019, 10:58am
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Since news broke of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing back in February, the fashion world has existed in a state of perpetual mourning. As was only to be expected, all and sundry have battled to demonstrate their closeness to the Kaiser, with tributes ranging from the ceaseless stream of individuals posting selfies and sappy testimonies to the man many considered the last of fashion’s true greats, to Chanel holding a one-minute-silence at the beginning of their autumn/winter 19 show.

Now, in a blockbuster joining of forces, the houses at which Lagerfeld served in a creative directorial capacity, Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous label, have come together to stage a memorial event at the Grand Palais, the home of his jaw-dropping Chanel sets since 2005.

On 20 June, during Paris Fashion Week Men’s, around 2500 fortunate invitees will bear witness to a celebration of the late designer’s life. The night will undoubtedly be an emotional but celebratory affair, due to comprise of video footage of Karl and his collaborators, as well as interpretative dance, music and theatre performances based on works that the former creative director held dear.

“I wanted something full of life and unexpected,” said Robert Carsen, the theatre and opera director charged with orchestrating the event, to WWD. “He [Karl] once famously said, ‘A funeral? I’d rather die.’" Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion, added that, "the memorial will be about Karl only: who he was, what he loved, what gave him his exceptional energy.”

If the event, titled Karl For Ever, is to match the scale of what Lagerfeld managed to pull off in life – Chanel’s autumn/winter 17 show, for example, saw the staged launch of a life-sized model spaceship – we really should expect the unexpected.