Chanel reliably presented its haute couture spring 2019 presentation today in Paris at the Grand Palais, which was transformed into “Villa Chanel,” a set inspired by La Vigie, a Monte Carlo house where Karl Lagerfeld spent his summer in the ’80s.
Notably, Lagerfeld was absent from both runway presentations. After the first show ended at 11:00 AM, it was announced Lagerfeld would attend the noon show, but failed to appear. Following the show, Chanel issued a statement that read: “Mr Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him.”
For past few presentations, Lagerfeld has taken his bow accompanied by Viard, however, this marks the first time he’s ever missed the end-of-show nod to guests altogether.
According to a review of the show by Vogue, “Lagerfeld did not emerge to take his customary bow, and his absence sucked the air out of the room with the sharp collective intake of breath.”
At age 85, rumors related to Lagerfeld preparing to retire have persisted, though in a May 2018 interview with British Vogue, he waved off the latest rumors. “You know, the youth obsession is a kind of racism,” he opined. “Do you know how long my contract is? Until 2045. I have a lifelong contract and I am enchanted. My work conditions are fabulous and don’t exist anywhere else.”
At the same time, when Lagerfeld showed up to a Christmas lighting ceremony in Paris in late November 2018, attendees were shocked to see the normally immaculate Lagerfeld reveal missing teeth when he smiled for press images.
Check out some highlights from the presenation via © IMAXtree.com below.