Organised by the houses of Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld and staged by the Canadian opera director Robert Carsen at the Grand Palais in Paris, the tribute has been named “Karl For Ever”.
The event celebrating the life of the late Karl Lagerfeld will take place on the 20th of June 2019. In an interview last Friday, Carsen shared “I wanted to celebrate him in the fullest way possible” and it sounds like the acclaimed theatre and opera director will not disappoint as it has been revealed that the 90-minute spectacle will include giant LED screens, lofty monumental portraits of Lagerfeld, grand custom carpets, Steinway pianos (designed by Lagerfeld himself back in 2003), around 2,000 people on the guest list and live performances by Pharrell Williams, violinist Charlie Siem, Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton, Fanny Ardant and Cara Delevingne, whom all had close relations with Karl.
Invited guests will include representatives of Chanel, Fendi and the Lagerfeld house, a range of designers including Valentino Garavani and Ralph Lauren, models, actresses and editors, retailers and political figures including Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Brigitte Macron.
Carsen went onto say “I want to surprise the audience the way he always surprised,” he said. “He was not only modern throughout his career, but slightly ahead of his time, which is almost impossible, but without any sense of effort from him. It was totally natural for him to not only embrace change, but initiate it.”
Carsen also put together a touching homage video featuring 60 people close to Karl speaking on the legend, filmed in the literary fanatic’s very own 7L bookshop in Paris. Carsen shared “It was impossible to have live people speaking. Then we would be in the realm of what Karl didn’t want, homilies and that sort of thing.” The speakers include famous designers Nicolas Ghesquière, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Simon Porte Jacquemus, models Gigi Hadid, Claudia Schiffer and Carla Bruni, actresses Anna Mouglalis, Carole Bouquet and Vanessa Paradis as well as business magnates Bernard Arnault of LVMH Moët Hennessy and Bruno Pavlovsky of Chanel. Other cultural figures include Princess Caroline of Hanover, artist Jeff Koons, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and industrial designer Marc Newson, as well as a brief debut from world famous Choupette, Karl’s beloved cat.
Carsen even decided on having Lagerfeld himself narrate the proceedings from archived clips and filmed interviews rather than having a master of ceremonies. “This whole thing is all woven and sewn together with Karl in mind, aiming to get the sense of proportion and detail he was so good at,” said the director. Carsen has been very attentive to all details, eager to ensure that the celebration reflects the entirety of Lagerfeld’s loves and passions, headlined by literature, poetry and music.