Anna Wintour, Princess Caroline of Monaco and More Mourn at Karl Lagerfeld's Cremation
The late designer Karl Lagerfeld was very clear about what he wanted to happen after his death. In numerous interviews, the longtime creative director of Chanel and Fendi, who died at the age of 85 on Tuesday, said he wished to have his body cremated and to eschew a funeral service. But on Friday, the fashion community, royalty and close friends of Lagerfeld, gathered to attend his cremation in France.
The same faces that were front and center at all of his fashion shows were seen in Nanterre, near Paris, France, where his body was to be cremated.
One of Lagerfeld’s longtime friends Vogue‘s editor-in-chief Anna Winter attended wearing a black Chanel tweed dress without her signature black sunglasses, and walked alongside Amanda Harlech, a creative consultant who’s known as being Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman and close friend, who was seen wearing a black netted veil and black wool coat.
Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris and current editor of CR Fashion book was also in attendance in a full black outfit. Just three weeks before Lagerfeld’s death, his eponymous label announced that he and Roitfeld collaborated on the fall 2019 Karl Lagerfeld collection.
One of Lagerfeld’s favorite models, Brad Kroenig, also paid his respects with his family, pictured with his youngest son Jameson (below). Lagerfeld was extremely close to Kroenig, and was the Godfather to his oldest son, Hudson, who regularly joined him at the end of the Chanel shows.
It wasn’t just fashion royalty who were on-hand, Monaco’s Princess Caroline attended with her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi, who regularly attends Chanel shows.
French news site Pure People reported that Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette, was also in attendance.
Also in attendance was the CEO of the LVMH Group (which owns Fendi) Bernard Arnault, his daughter-in-law and model Natalia Vodianova.
Lagerfeld always spoke candidly about his death.
He revealed to Marie Ottavi, the author of the 2017 biography Jacques de Bascher, dandy de l’ombre, which detailed the life of Lagerfeld’s late partner, who died of complications of AIDS in 1989, that he wished to have his ashes mixed with his mother’s and de Bascher’s.
“They are in a place kept secret with those of my mother,” Lagerfeld is quoted in the biography about the location of de Bascher’s final resting place. “One day, we will add mine. But I do not want a burial, nothing. I arrived one day, and one day I will leave. But let it be said, there is no urgency. I am like Madame Porgès, who lived during the Belle Epoque. When she died, people said that she was the only survivor of a world she was not part of. Well, me, that’s it, this world, I was not really part of it […]. “
In an interview with the French magazine Numéro in April 2018, Lagerfeld reiterated his desire not to have a funeral ceremony.
“How awful,” he remarked when asked what type of service he would like. “There will be no burial. I’d rather die.”
“Since those miserable Hallyday family stories, a funeral at the Madeleine [church] looks like a joke,” he said referencing French rock ‘n’ roll singer Johnny Hallyday’s grand funeral and procession which was attended by hundreds of thousands, including current and former French Presidents. “I’ve asked to be cremated and for my ashes to dispersed with those of my mother… and those of Choupette [his cat], if she dies before me.”
Lagerfeld also left a lengthy manual to his store employees with detailed instructions on how he wanted to be remembered after his death. He wanted all items removed from store windows upon his death and replaced by one bouquet of localy-sourced white roses and a company statement on display instead, the German tabloid BILD reported.
He also provided staff with the acceptable answers to give to customers when they offer their condolences. On the approved list: “Thank you for your condolences” and “It is a hard time for all of us.”