Monday, April 8, 2019

Royal Fashion: Karl Lagerfeld and His Blue-Blooded Friends

For a great deal of his life, fashion powerhouse Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) counted numerous European royals and nobles amongst his friends and clientele. The recently deceased creative director of Chanel was especially close to the Princely Family of Monaco. Princess Caroline of Hannover was one of Lagerfeld's dearest supporters, having known Herr Lagerfeld since the 1970s. Caroline's daughter Charlotte Casiraghi was also a keen admirer of Lagerfeld and his work.

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Another Grimaldi princess who enjoyed the company of Lagerfeld was Princess Charlene of Monaco. Karl Lagerfeld was a guest at Charlene Wittstock's 2011 nuptials to Prince Albert II of Monaco, an event at which he was seated just behind Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeline of Sweden, and right next to Margrave Maximilian and Margravine Valerie of Baden.

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Karl Lagerfeld also mixed with various other royal women during his long career: Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Princess Mafalda of Hesse, Princess Clotilde of Savoy, Princess Lilly of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (first wife of Prince Alexander of Schaumburg-Lippe), Princess Ingeborg of Schleswig-Holstein, and Infanta Elena of Spain.

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Princess Caroline of Hannover paid a heartfelt tribute to the late designer, and recalled how the two met, in an interview with Point de Vue some months after Lagerfeld's death:

It has been more than forty-five years of friendship! It was a photo shoot for American Vogue organised by Mary Russell who my mother knew well, and it was done in Karl’s apartment, place Saint-Sulpice, in Paris. We ended up there with Chris von Wangenheim, a wonderful fashion photographer. I wore Chloé clothes that Karl drew. It was a really happy atmosphere, I was very shy at that age.

Forty-five years is more than we know a lot of our own family members. Only my nanny, who passed away last year, knew me as well. We all felt Karl’s death as a family loss. At the death of my father, he supported me, and today it is like I am losing a close family member again. My children also felt this very painfully. They have known Karl since their birth. He was home the day before the day I gave birth to Andrea, he took a picture of me on the stairs. He was there when they were born.

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