“It was a celebration of Karl today at Chanel, in his last collection. I gave him all the things he loved, camelias, bows, snowflake feather and pearl brooches in the hair,” Sam McKnight said backstage. As the Grand Palais was, for the last time, transformed into a little (or rather large) piece of Karl Lagerfeld’s brilliant imagination, Sam McKnight dedicated his hair to the immense genius of his creative partner and friend.
An alpine village cupped in peaks of snow, it was a heavenly scene for Karl’s sartorial swansong, as his Chanel girls walked one last time in his honour. There were tears – plenty of them – as Mariacarla Boscono, Catherine McNeil and Cara Delevingne sobbed into their tweed as David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ played out. But above all else, it was a celebration, and McKnight honoured him the only way he knew how, through the magic of hair.
“Sparkly hair slides, ribbons, brooches and camellias adorned the simple, clean healthy hair @chanelofficial today. A celebration of Karl and all things Chanel, in a magnificent mountain village, complete with snow. Hair half-up half-down, natural cool girl textures tied with ribbons. Huge love and respect goes to the wonderful team at Chanel for a very personal and emotional show today,” he wrote on Instagram.
A tribute to Karl’s love of hair accessories, McKnight affixed myriad accoutrements to naturally textured hair. There were pearly logo barrettes, simply tied bows, whisper-thin tulle corsages, even a cluster of kitschy brooches – snow-capped mountains, a heart and taffy pink ice-skates – all which adorned half-up hair.
Perhaps most telling however, was the camelia – an unerring symbol the Chanel and Karl story – in hot pink, shiny bouclé blue and pale fawn it was deftly affixed to black grosgrain ribbon.
Hair was kept beautifully simple and unruffled, “natural cool girl textures, using Modern Hairspray and Cool Girl Hair. Easy, modern half-up looks, uncomplicated, shiny and healthy, with a light-hearted touch in the back.” It was as Karl would have wanted it, unfussy and so very French.
A powerfully poignant farewell for Chanel, McKnight and fashion. Adieu, and merci, Karl. We shall miss you.