Lagerfeld, local boy made good, at last goes home to Hamburg
Karl Lagerfeld was dispatched from Hamburg to Paris by his mother, Elisabeth Lagerfeld, when he was still a schoolboy, almost 70 years ago.
The 85-year-old Lagerfeld is not sentimental about his birthplace, but when the Elbphilharmonie concert hall opened by the water’s edge in Hamburg this year, it seemed the right time to return with his first Chanel show in Germany. The controversial (costly) Elbphilharmonie is, like this city, proudly unflashy on the outside, but plush and expensive on the inside.
One of Chanel’s most pared-back collections, the largely monochrome palette offered a chic medley of Hamburg’s most famous emblems – early Beatles-era caps, some swathed in black tulle headscarves – and a handful of nautical references, including anchor-shaped jewellery. Soft but oh-so-precise peacoats jostled with deluxe navy fishermen sweaters and slender frock-coats. One, in grey, cut away at the front over a muted, beaded silver skirt looked like the wintry Hamburg sky pierced by occasional shafts of watery sun.
Hamburg’s high rollers shrugged on their best Chanel cocktail-wear to welcome one of their own. It was a very good collection and they gave him a standing ovation.
“I think that proves the German publication that just wrote that I am admired but not loved was wrong,” said a frail-looking Lagerfeld. “Not that I care. They made 21 mistakes in that article,” he added, with the tone of someone who probably did, but was trying to convince himself otherwise.
Karl Lagerfeld, far right, returned to his roots for his first Chanel show in Germany, his home country, at the age of 85. The fashion designer unveiled his latest collection, right, to a standing ovation from an adoring audience at Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall