A Year On, We Revisit our Tribute to the late and great Karl Lagerfeld from Issue 2 of 10+

Image courtesy of Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld was a genius. His groundbreaking and revolutionary creations for Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous line remain unparalleled in their exquisite beauty, intelligence and luxury. Generous, loving and kind to those he knew best, dry, acerbic and master of the one-liner, he touched people’s lives. To mark the first anniversary of his death, we revisit our tribute from Issue 2 of 10+ where friends and colleagues across the industry shared their most treasured memories of Karl for Chanel.

EDWARD ENNINFUL, Editor-in-Chief at British Vogue

“I have many fond memories of Karl, both personally and professionally, but I will never forget the autumn/winter 2018 couture show in Paris, when Karl walked down the runway with my honorary daughter Adut Akech as his Chanel bride. It was an iconic moment in fashion history.”

Image courtesy of Jason Lloyd-Evans.


“I will never forget the day Karl Lagerfeld asked me if I wanted to be his Chanel couture bride while shooting the Chanel pre-fall campaign in his studio in Paris. That day and the day of the show were some of the best moments in my life that I will cherish for ever and always. He was a genius with an incredibly creative mind, which was evident through his work as a designer and photographer. But that’s not all Karl was in my eyes – he was one of my biggest confidence boosters.”

CHARLOTTE STOCKDALE, Creative consultant

“A quote on Karl? That was one of his greatest talents! A huge message in a single sentence. It’s not one of my talents, but with him I could fill a book. We had corresponded through notes for almost six years before we met properly. Once I met him, he was so much more than I expected. I knew the talent and I knew his extraordinary education and culture. What I hadn’t expected was the energy, the sense of humour, the incredible loyalty and the dear friend and mentor that he became. My favourite thing about him was when he would take your hand with both of his and tell you a really silly joke and then slap the table really loudly. That loud, unhindered laughter. He was such an inspiring person to work with because his job was never done. He had no boundaries as to what was possible and no fear of anything. He had no limitations, which made him just so exciting to be with, and kept you on your toes at all times. You really had to try to do your best, because that’s what he always enforced upon himself.”

AMANDA HARLECH, Creative consultant, Chanel

“Karl had an extraordinary house outside Biarritz. It was called Elhoria and sat in a park with a wilderness of woodland and lawns that sloped down to the dark eye of a lake. Occasionally, an old grey horse would appear in the gloaming, reminding him of the retired circus horses that would wander into clearings in the grounds of his family home on the Danish border near Hamburg. [Elhoria] was the most romantic place on earth, swept by the salt winds from the Atlantic, ferocious storms – we would have TV dinners under umbrellas wrapped in towels by his slate-lined swimming pool – and brilliant blue skies. Jasset, Tallulah and I all learnt to surf there, and Karl would insist on taking photographs of me on a horse with a surfboard and heels!He had a wonderful sense of creating not only whole worlds for his collections but also inspiring homes to live in. He would angle tables and armchairs in secluded corners of the gardens – each one revealing another layer of the beauty of the green spaces. He had the gift of bringing out what was special and unique not only in people but in places, too. I think I had come across him reading in a shady arbour one evening and he called me over to sit with him. His camera lay on the table between piles of books. He told me to look out at the garden and then took my photograph. It was only when he gave me a print that I saw what he had seen. The leaf pattern on my old 1930s dress, dappled with the shadows of the leaves, had made an extraordinary, beautiful image – I was there and I wasn’t there – like a sort of wood spirit.”

Image courtesy of Amanda Harlech.


“I remember the first time I shot with Karl very clearly, coming into his library studio with its skylight, and books from floor to ceiling in every room, and the legend himself arriving late. All the models said hello and gave him kisses on his cheek, and I remember seeing him smile for the first time in that moment. Seeing his eyes behind the sunglasses and feeling the warmth as he spoke directly to me allowed me to push aside the legend and see him as just a man. A legendary, iconic man, but still a human like the rest of us, hardworking until the last.”

MICHEL GAUBERT , Sound designer

“The Cuba show was such a passion/obsession of his. He was fascinated by Afro-Cuban music and was a great dancer. Being in Havana and bringing Chanel there must have been the ultimate fantasy. Before we went, my brief was, ‘There is no decor, the decor is the music.’ It was amazing to bring that to fruition, to have everyone dancing during the show’s finale and to see Karl mamboing at the afterparty. He was all about bringing fantasies to life and I loved that about him.”

Image courtesy of Olivier Sailant.


“To watch Karl draw was pure magic. There was no limit. He could draw the detail of a sleeve, or a castle and its garden, or resuscitate his mother or the exact shape of the moustache of Jacques de Bascher the day he met him. One day he drew Jacques in front of my camera, capturing the love of his life with lines and making him come alive on the paper. He just appeared like that, the way Karl drew the hand, it just embodied the nonchalance and funny snobbery of Jacques, who I never met but who was right there, in front of me and totally familiar. This ability to draw everything made him better than a sorcerer. That’s how he got his empire, by drawing things. And I love, love, love the idea that he continued to draw until the end. I could see walls of drawings by him at all the fittings.”


“Karl was my magic dust. He transformed me from a shy German girl into a supermodel. He taught me about fashion, style and survival in the fashion business. What Warhol was to art, he was to fashion. He is irreplaceable. He is the only person who could make black and white colourful. I will be eternally grateful to him.”

Image courtesy of Claudia Schiffer

SAM MCKNIGHT, Hairstylist

“There are so many things to say about Karl, an incredible inspiration, a joy to be around, his knowledge and sense of humour and so much more. But what I secretly treasure are the text messages and pics on my iPhone from him, the pics of Choupette on holiday and the words in Choupette’s voice. Absolutely hysterical!”


“Every time I met with Karl he was so welcoming, talkative and always made me laugh. When I ran into him after the last Chanel show that he attended, he was surrounded by a huge group of press, but the second he saw me he ignored them all and came over to thank me dearly for walking in his show. Which was so overwhelming for me as I was even more thankful for having the opportunity to walk for him. I think this shows how humble he was and his amazing spirit – I miss him so much. I really hope that one day I can meet Choupette and give her a big cuddle for Karl.”


“My daughters Allegra and Cecilia attended the Rue Cambon state school opposite Chanel. On quite a few occasions, Karl would arrive in his silver Hummer, spot me waiting and come over. His appearance blew my left-wing-mum cover and caused pandemonium with the kids, who would cry, ‘Karl, Karl, Karl,’ and all wanted to meet him. He was very gentle and sweet with them. Karl really appreciated children. When Allegra and Cecilia were born, he sent this wonderfully long, handwritten fax as well as flowers. I’ll miss his thoughtfulness.”

Image courtesy of Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

KATIE GRAND, Editor-in-Chief, LOVE magazine

“Karl was brilliant and terrifying. He was so sharp witted you’d be embarrassed to even say anything back. I interviewed him in the 1990s for Dazed – the headline was Lager Lager Lagerfeld, after the track Born Slippy, which was out at the time. I went to Paris and was supposed to have an interview for about an hour – I was there for six hours and the only people left in the building were the cleaners and we had been locked in, and of course I had missed the last train home. I remember asking him what his favourite colour was and his answer was yellow, with him going on to talk about why for about three hours. The last time I saw him was backstage at Hedi’s first Celine show. He crossed the room to say hello to me, which I found unbelievably flattering, and I was completely starstruck, as I always was around him. I never thought he would die, he seemed so invincible. His passing has given the fashion industry a monumental jolt.”


“I asked Karl how come he only shoots five frames per look when shooting. He goes, ‘People who shoot a lot of frames are people who don’t know what they want.’ I’m never forgetting that.”

Image courtesy of Jason Lloyd-Evans

MANDI LENNARD, Fashion consultant

“I bought a huge-rimmed hat from Colette during Paris Fashion Week. I guess I loved the vibe it conjured of how guests must have dressed in the 1970s at Julie’s in Holland Park, as well as the fact it had a metal M on it – for Mandi! – not realising it was the side hustle of Chanel accessories designer Laetitia Crahay under Maison Michel. I wore it that night to a cocktail party in the Chanel apartment above the store on Rue Cambon, and she approached me to tell me she was the designer and then introduced me to Karl and Amanda Harlech, who were sitting on the apartment steps. Fast-forward a couple of months, Laetitia wanted to do a party during London Fashion Week, and my job was to go through a sack of Chanel accessories and hand them out as gifts to special guests during the evening – she also gave my assistants Chanel goodies, and presented me with a special pearl-encrusted cuff when she arrived. The whole thing was some kind of Generation Game, TV-show fantasy. You often saw Karl in Colette, and it wasn’t unusual for me to be hosting an event there while he was hosting a reception on another floor. I remember chatting with him at the cash area about his Barbie Lagerfeld collaboration and how fast it sold out, and him talking about his photography. He was literally dripping in Chrome Hearts hardware.”


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