At the 2019 César Awards, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards, which took place in Paris on Friday evening, Diane Kruger took a moment to honor Karl Lagerfeld, whose designs for Fendi and Chanel graced so many red carpets over the years. In a brief speech, the actress and Chanel muse called the designer, who died Wednesday at the age of 85 and was a close friend of hers, an “icon.”
“It’s impossible to imagine climbing the steps in Cannes or an Oscar ceremony without one of his mythical creations…His sense of humor and worldview, often hilarious, will be missed. I miss him, I miss him terribly,” Kruger said, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Kruger and Lily-Rose Depp, also a Chanel muse, both paid tribute to the late designer by wearing Chanel gowns to the event. Per Vogue Paris, Kruger donned a dress from Chanel’s 2019 Métiers d’Art collection—a gorgeous black and gold minidress over a sheer long-sleeved, floor-length underlay—plus Chanel jewelry. Depp, meanwhile wore a black Chanel Couture dress featuring a scalloped neckline and sparkly detailing. Kruger’s black-and gold look and Depp’s all-black ensemble were perhaps subtle declarations of mourning, as much as they were a celebration of Lagerfeld’s aesthetic, since he favored black and white in his own monochromatic wardrobe.
Earlier this week, Kruger revealed a poignant moment of missed opportunity on Instagram, when she posted a tribute to Largerfeld and wrote, “Karl…..I cannot tell you how much you meant to me and how much I will miss you. I will never forget your kindness towards me, your laughs, your imagination. I came to France to see you this week and introduce you to my daughter…I’m heartbroken I was too late. Rest In Peace, I adore you.”
As has been widely reported following his death this week, the German-born Lagerfeld left the bulk of his multi-million-dollar fortune to his cat, Choupette, for whom he employed two maids. While some see a cat inheriting upward of $200 million as a sign of the frivolities of the über-rich and a sign that inequality needs to be addressed on an international level, one must also keep in mind that cats are actually very smart and, that if the world simply must bestow extreme wealth on a being that did nothing to earn it, a cat seems as good a candidate as any other. Perhaps Ms. Kruger could step up to adopt the spoiled feline? Growing families need pets!
How Karl Lagerfeld’s Signature Look Transformed Over the Years
Karl Lagerfeld wearing a simple black suit while accepting the First Prize in the Coat category at the Fashion Design Competition in Paris on December 11, 1954. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In November 1973, Lagerfeld sported a full beard to match his thick head of hair. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In 1979, the beard was shaved off, but his signature large black sunglasses are present. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In 1983 Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as its chief artistic director fashion designer and donned the uniform—black suit jacket, black tie, and white shirt with a high collar. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lagerfeld shifted gears to a three piece suit later in 1983, and swapped out the black jacket and pants for grey. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The suits got slouchier—and the colors lightened up—for Lagerfeld by the time 1988 rolled around. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In the early 1990s, Lagerfeld made the move to all black, keeping the oversized frames, and adding a fan for his accessory. Top models Nadja Auermann, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington posed with Lagerfeld during the Karl Lagerfeld Ready-to-Wear Winter fashion show 1992-1993 on March 1992 in Paris, France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
With a full head of his iconic white hair, the designer swapped out his signature suit for a sleek black turtleneck à la Steve Jobs at the Karl Lagerfeld at the 2002 Spring-Summer ready to wear fashion show. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In preparation for his photo exhibition titled Versailles à l’ombre du soleil in April 2008, Lagerfeld adhered to his classic uniform once again. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lagerfeld greeted the audience after his show for Lagerfeld Gallery while wearing a black suit jacket and white tuxedo shirt on October 4, 2002 during the spring/summer 2003 ready-to-wear collections in Paris. Incidentally, this also seemed to have marked Lagerfeld’s blue jean phase. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lagerfeld swapped out the signature black jacket for a crimson one at Art Basel in December 2002. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The designer donned a sparkly suit—a departure from his mostly understated uniform—during a Paris Vogue Party on October 13, 2003 at the Plazza Athenee Hotel in Paris, France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lagerfeld attended the 2004 Met Gala dressed in his shredded up interpretation of the theme “Dangerous Liasons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century.”
Lagerfeld, his light beige suit jacket, tie, tight blue jeans, and his tan attended the Chanel Fall-Winter 2004-2005 Ready-to-Wear fashion show in Paris. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
For the Chanel 2008/09 Cruise Show in Miami, Lagerfeld’s tie grew wide, and his suit jacket remained as white as his signature ponytail. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The designer went navy blue at the Cannes film festival in May 2015.
By 2016, it was all in the (jewel) details. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
In 2018, the beard returned once again, as did the richly detailed designs on Lagerfeld’s suits (this particular tie was embroidered with an image of his cat, Choupette) on November 22, 2018 in Paris. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Lagerfeld went back to black once again, as he walked with his successor Virginie Viard on the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on October 2, 2018 in Paris, France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.