Will Karl leave Chanel?

If you don’t already know, I’m a big fan of Chanel. I may not be able to afford most of their stuff, but I love reading up on the history of the house of Chanel, the life of Mademoiselle ‘Coco’ and how Chanel Number 5 came about, stuff like that.

So today when I saw one of the fashion mag I’m subscribing to have the headline “Is Karl Lagerfield leaving Chanel?” Naturally my interest was piqued. Of course the house of Chanel refuted the rumors immediately. It’s not the first time these rumors surface, and yesterday’s Internet were rife with these rumors.

Kaiser Karl is around 83 years old. He has declared publicly that he is younger than that, but people who interviewed his teachers and friends did ascertain he was born in 1933, so that will put him around 83 years old. I have great admiration for Karl Lagerfield. There are not many designers out there who can command fashion at this respected age. And I don’t think he officially studied fashion, but claim to fame in a design competition winning first place in the coat category, and becoming close friends with Yves Saint Laurent, another competitor in the contest.

(On a side note, there’s a photography exhibition on Yves Saint Laurent, starting 28th Apr at Alliance Francais, ok digress over)

Over the years he has helmed and perfected the Chanel Haute Coutre, reviving a brand and bringing it mass appeal. The Chanel runway show is always a surprise, with elaborate settings. Who can forget the one where they changed the runway into a supermarket, or the one recently at South Korea, where the set was transformed into a futuristic child’s play board. Or the iconic Fendi show stopper on China’s Great Wall in 2007?


The little supermarket/shopping mall setting that I adored


Fendi unique show on Great Wall of China


There are many other grand shows that Kaiser Karl created. His shows always have that flair, with the opening and closing dresses, painstakingly adorned either with lace, beads or other embellishments. I remembered watching the documentary on Chanel during my Taftc days, and it gave me a glimpse into his work life and what goes on in the House of Chanel. How the receptionist will flutter to attention and alert the rest by phone when they hear Kaiser Karl is coming to the headquarters. How the dressmakers will be concerned when they are idle so close to a show for they know they have to work doubly hard once Karl finalize the designs. 

Mademoiselle Chanel passed away in 1971 and at the grand old age of 87, she was still designing. Her most recent work then was designing uniforms for Olympic Airlines. So if you ask me, “Will Karl leave Chanel?”

I will say, “maybe one day in the future, but definitely not yet.”


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