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Fabulous Friendships

July 31, 2019

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ANNA WINTOUR: When Karl Lagerfeld died I wrote a brief tribute about this amazing designer and decided that was it. CLICK HERE to see this blog.

But then, I came across a final good-bye to him titled, “My Brilliant Friend” written by Anna Wintour that appeared in the April 2019 issue of Vogue magazine.

Karl Lagerfeld photographed by Irving Penn, 1985 – courtesy of Vogue magazine, April 2019

It was so moving I decided I had to quote from it. They were great friends: I remember reading that Lagerfeld had a tennis court built for Anna on one of his properties because he knew she loved to play and he wanted her to enjoy herself when she came to visit him. Isn’t that a terrific story? Take a look at these excerpts:

“KARL WAS A STANDARD UNTO HIMSELF”

He defined what it means to be a 21st century designer and he did it with humor and joy. It’s doubly painful to have lost him because he never fell out of love with his work or with the world and his death marks the end of the era of craftspeople that could do it all.

“WE WERE OFTEN IN TOUCH, BUT HE PRIZED HIS SOLITUDE”

His working hours would regularly run to 2:00 or 3:00 am – he was not a morning person. He loved parties and could be counted on to rise to any social occasion. Karl was witty and winsome and seemed to have an endless supply of risqué jokes.

The editor goes on to say that she’s worn his beautiful clothes at the most important moments of her life: her wedding, her children’s weddings and when she received a damehood from Queen Elizabeth.

GLENDA BAILEY: The editor of Bazaar also wrote a moving tribute in the April 2019 issue of the magazine. “I remember one time, we broke into a spontaneous cha-cha during one of the fittings and the whole atelier stopped and started to applaud. Another one of my favorite memories was when Karl threw a ball for Stephen Gan and me at his private home in Paris. We danced until the wee hour of the morning! There will never be another Karl. He will live on in our hearts – and in the pages of Bazaar – forever.”

MARIAN MCEVOY: Another great friendship I’d like to mention is the one that Marian McEvoy, a fashion editor at WWD and W in Paris had with Yves Saint Laurent. In an article in Elle Décor, September 2018 she describes a visit to the designer’s home in Marrakech (Morocco’s fabled “pink city”).

The Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé property in Marrakech – in an intense marine blue – photo courtesy of Veranda magazine, April 2019

She says, “I’ve traveled 45 times to this florid, mysterious, impossibly exotic and assiduously maintained North African compound, owned and made famous by the late French couturier Yves Saint Laurent.” Forty-five times! Now that’s a sterling friendship!

Marian ends with “Yves established his aesthetic mark via couture, but his legacy is based on ready-to-wear fashions. So it is with the designer’s beloved Villa Oasis: Here amid the gardens and flowers, the future is inclusive.”

Saint Laurent’s bedroom in Marrakech – the walls, ceiling and shutters are hand-painted in red, black and gold – photo courtesy of Elle Décor magazine, September 2018

Shaun Nelson-Henrick


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