Chanel's AW19 Chalet Gardenia - the final collection by Karl Lagerfeld

The story of a preloved item is what makes it so special, it's what makes the magic.  Would you agree? We love researching and learning about the bags, shoes, clothing and accessories that come into the Atelier studio - call it geeky, or passion, but it's what we love about this industry!

We received a very special item of clothing last week.  A Chanel tweed jacket is always going to be breathtaking - they are so iconic, so instantly recognisable and the quality is second to none.  Yet our AW19 Houndstooth Jacket is part of a collection that has an emotional as well as fashion story.

In the wake of creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s death, the mood at the Chanel AW 2019 show was solemn yet gracefully still. No doubt emotions were running high, along with anticipations of what his final collection would bring, but the scenic makeover of the Grand Palais (as per Karl tradition) seemed to exude an aura of comfort and serenity.

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The snows of a peaceful Alpine Village greeted guests for the presentation of the final collection co-created by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard, his right hand and successor.  'A snow bound haven -  a slice of Chanel heaven, viewed from a distance that was poignantly difficult to bear,' Vogue commented.

Taking place a few weeks after Lagerfeld's passing in February 2019, the show was preceded by a minute of silence, followed by a recording of an interview in which the designer looked back to the time he was invited to take over the house, when only his fascination for the character of Gabrielle Chanel and his love of a challenge led him to accept, opening a new chapter in fashion history.

With predominantly white, black and grey tones, the collection offered up silhouettes ranging from elongated tweed coats and suits to flowing capes and fluffy 'snowball' feather dresses.

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'Lagerfeld's last outing was...emotional, without being nostalgic or sentimental.  It was wintry, without being cold,' Jo Ellison reported for The Financial Times. 'In a show that was somber yet serene, a capturing of airiness and substance, of shrugged-on elegance and insuppressible delight, the farewell to the immense talent of Karl Lagerfeld was framed just as he'd imagined,' Vogue's Sarah Mower wrote.

Guests rose to their feet for a standing ovation at the end of the show, when models - from Cara Delevingne to actress Penelope Cruz - walked out to David Bowie's Heroes. 'There was a reason many of the models were moved during the finale,' Jo-Ann Furniss wrote, 'models like Mariacarla Boscono who knew Karl as a teenager, and like many who were taken under his wing, encouraged to be themselves.'

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'The beat goes on', to quote the inscription on a sketch by Karl Lagerfeld - of himself and Gabrielle Chanel standing side by side, looking in the same direction - that was placed on every seat.

Text - taken from Thames & Hudson