Ever since Raf Simons unexpectedly left his position as creative director of Christian Dior in October of last year, everyone has been asking the same question: who will be his replacement? Alber Elbaz, the former creative director of Lanvin? Jonathan Saunders, the London-based designer who recently shuttered his eponymous label? Six months later, we still don’t have answer – but, in an interview with Vogue Hommes, legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has given his verdict.
“I think that Sarah Burton would be an interesting option,” he says, as translated from the original French. “She is fantastic and what she’s doing at McQueen is truly haute couture. Actually, when I photograph couture collections, I always ask for McQueen dresses. It’s really the next level. Would she really be able to bear the weight of Dior on her shoulders? As I always say, all you need is a little bit of padding!”
“I think that Sarah Burton would be an interesting option. She is fantastic and what she’s doing at McQueen is truly haute couture” – Karl Lagerfeld
Sarah Burton has worked at Alexander McQueen since 1997, first starting as the founder’s assistant, before becoming head of womenswear in 2000 and, following the designer’s death in 2010, creative director. It’s thought that her beautiful craftsmanship combined with her embrace of femininity and the female form would make her a suitable candidate for Dior.
Lagerfeld goes on to suggest that Clare Waight Keller, the current creative director of Chloé, would also make a viable option. “Her latest collection for Chloé was so pretty,” he says. “The ruched dresses, the subtle colours, the impeccable technique, it’s perfect for my personal bad taste.”
Speaking on another heated fashion industry topic, Lagerfeld shares his thoughts on Hedi Slimane’s recently-ended tenure at Saint Laurent. “He shook up the brand,” he says. “His shows were perhaps extreme but the clothes were very good. It needed a change and he was clever enough to understand that. A few journalists might have been confused, but the sales took off. This is proof that press criticism has no importance.”
“He renamed the house of Saint Laurent by getting rid of the first name (Yves), he rethought the shops, he did a good job. I really admire him. And he’s a lovely boy in private. There are few people I love so much. It’s the clothes Hedi used to create at Dior that gave me the will to lose weight. If something interests me I’m capable of anything.”
Yesterday, @chopettesdiary (the Instagram account belonging to Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette) posted a picture of the designer at Chanel’s Cruise 2017 show in Cuba with the caption, “There might be more to Daddy @KarlLagerfeld's Hedi Slimane for @YSL jacket than meets the eye. #HediSlimane to design menswear at @ChanelOfficial?” This came amid speculation that Lagerfeld might be enlisting Slimane to work for him – though it hasn’t been confirmed whether there’s any substance to these rumours.