Lager­feld, lo­cal boy made good, at last goes home to Ham­burg

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Lisa Arm­strong FASH­ION DI­REC­TOR

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...

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