The label's iconic creative director was noticeably absent from the Spring/Summer 2019 Haute Couture shows where his muse Kaia Gerber commanded the runway

By Kaitlyn Frey
January 22, 2019 11:47 AM
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There was one very important person missing from Chanel’s two shows at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week: the label’s longtime creative director, Karl Lagerfeld.

The 85-year-old fashion icon was expected to take a bow at the end of his Mediterranean style-show, but was noticeably absent as his longtime right-hand collaborator, studio director Virginie Viard, waved to the crowd instead.

“For the traditional greeting at the end of the show, Mr. Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him and greet the guests alongside the bride,” Chanel said in a statement to WWD.

Chanel : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018
Credit: Peter White/Getty

“Virginie Viard as creative studio director and Eric Pfrunder as Chanel’s director of image continue to work with him and follow through with the brand’s collections and image campaigns,” the house added.

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On several occasions during recent Chanel showings, Lagerfeld has taken his final bow alongside Viard.

Despite Lagerfeld’s absence, the show still went on without a hitch. Supermodel Kaia Gerber, 17, dominated the runway in a pink floral embellished off-the-shoulder confection, complete with over-the-top feathered mass on the sleeves and hips, a ’60s-inspired beehive hairdo with a matching floral barrettes, smudged smoky eye makeup and a bright red lip.

Chanel show, Runway, Spring Summer 2019, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 22 Jan 2019
Credit: Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Gerber’s strut down the catwalk wasn’t the only memorable moment of the high fashion show. Italian model Vittoria Ceretti made a bold entrance as she channeled a retro bride in an intricately embellished silver one piece swimsuit, a matching embellished swim cap and a dramatic sparkly floor-length veil.

Chanel show, Runway, Spring Summer 2019, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 22 Jan 2019
Credit: Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The 20-year-old model shared multiple photos from the runway and backstage following the show and thanked the label for selected her to embody the bride.

“I just had the honor to walk this Chanel couture show as the bride,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’ve waited for this moment for a long time and I couldn’t be any happier with this beautiful dress. Grazie to everyone who made this possible.”