It was a solemn day at the Fendi Fall/Winter ‘19 runway in Milan. Tears broke as the first of models strutted down the austere runway clad in the final creations of the late fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld.
While Lagerfeld famously designed for the Parisian house of Chanel, he spent 54 years at the Italian house of Fendi, shaping the creative vocabulary of both the brand and his time. Before he passed on, he was designing Fendi's women's ready-to-wear collection in hand with Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Lagerfeld passed on on the 19th February 2019 at aged 85, two days before the Fendi collection was unveiled. News of his death quickly shook the global fashion industry.
“The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story,” said Silvia Venturini Fendi in a release at the show. “When we called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were on the richness and beauty of the collection.”
The collection was punctuated with Lagerfeld's design vocabulary and fingerprints — including the silk foulard or square silk scarf, the mischievous art of trompe l’oeil that he favoured, and his “Karligraphy” FF monogram. Yet, even the lightest of Lagerfeld's tulle and organza dresses couldn’t lift the mood at the Fendi show venue. Models were visibly tearing as they strutted down the runway.
At the finale, when Silvia Venturini Fendi turned up for a bow, she was crying — and was joined by the audience. A tribute video to Lagerfeld's career played right after.
While Lagerfeld was sent off in a private ceremony in Nanterre, France, a day after the show, on the 22nd February, the rest of the fashion industry flooded in from all corners of the globe to the Fendi show venue to bid their farewells.
Subscribe to our newsletter