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Karl Lagerfeld’s final Fendi show paid tribute to the late designer

For AW19, models took to the runway in stiff-collared shirts with low ponytails, just like the designer himself – a fitting ode after 54 years of work together

Karl Lagerfeld was probably the hardest working designer in fashion, so it’s fitting that both his final shows for Chanel and Fendi were still going ahead just two days after the sad news of his passing was announced on Tuesday.

First up in Milan was Fendi, where the usual show space had been painted a dark grey-brown with a cream carpet runway running down the middle, the house’s signature F’s shaved into it in a cursive font called ‘Karligraphy’ from 1981. On each chair was a small card printed with an ‘F’ and a heart drawn by Lagerfeld with his signature and the date of his death on the reverse. Above the runway, ‘Love Karl’ was printed in the designer’s handwriting. 

“The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives from years to come,” said Silvia Venturini Fendi in a statement. “I am profoundly saddened by his passing and deeply touched by his constant care and perseverance until the very end. He shall be so missed.”

When the show started, it was more or less business as usual with faces like Edie Campbell, Adwoa Aboah, Adesuwa, Kaia Gerber, and both the Hadids – Gigi closed the show. The collection itself was mostly neutral-toned, and featured shirts with stiff white collars which nodded to Lagerfeld’s personal style. Paired with low ponytails, they also seemed to be in homage to the late designer. Elsewhere, furry deerstalker hats appeared.

At the end of the show, a short video played featuring Lagerfeld sketching out his memories from working at Fendi. The label posted to Instagram with a caption reading: “A heartfelt tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi’s Ready to wear and Couture designer for over five decades. Karl, you will be dearly missed.” Stay tuned for the designer’s final collection for Chanel – set to take place on March 5 during PFW.