Paris: Karl Lagerfeld's final collection for Chanel will be presented in the Grand Palais in Paris on Tuesday, the scene of some of the legendary designer's greatest triumphs. The brand that he is most closely associated with is expected to stage a tribute to the workaholic creator, the most prolific of the past century.
Lagerfeld died aged 85 on February 19, less than a month after missing a Chanel haute couture show at the vast venue in the centre of the French capital, saying he was "tired". Chanel said that "a farewell ceremony will take place at a later date" after the German-born designer's no-fuss cremation attended by only his closest friends and colleagues.
But it is unclear whether Tuesday's show, on the last day of Paris fashion week, will be given over to a homage to the "Kaiser", who led the iconic French house for nearly four decades. Chanel can look to few precedents for handling the occasion.
In the first Versace show after its founder Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997, his tearful sister Donatella was surrounded by supermodels on the catwalk to take the bow before a celebrity-packed front row that included Lagerfeld and fellow fashion legends Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada and Donna Karan.
The high emotion of that occasion is unlikely to be replicated in Paris, with Lagerfeld's friends insistent that the famously dry wit would have hated a grandiose display of mourning.
There is also much speculation about whether his beloved fluffy white Birman cat, Choupette, will be present. Lagerfeld is reported to have left a substantial slice of his estimated $200 million fortune to the cat, which is looked after by a bodyguard and two maids. Choupette is also something of a social media star, with a large Twitter following.
The catwalk tributes to Lagerfeld began in Milan, where his final collection for Fendi, the Italian brand he had led since 1965, was shown only two days after his death. The Fendi family turned the show into a hasty memorial, showing a video of Lagerfeld at work with the screen flashing up the message "54 years together".
They had earlier taken out full-page ads in international newspapers showing him on the terrace of Fendi's Rome headquarters under the headline: "Thank you Karl for the most beautiful journey."...