Fashion News Alert: Ralph Lauren Knighted, the Bolshoi Ballet Celebrates Coco Chanel, and Paris Bids Farewell to Karl Lagerfeld

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On Wednesday, Ralph Lauren received an honorary knighthood from the United Kingdom. Lauren is now an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Because he is not a British citizen, he cannot be deemed Sir Ralph Lauren. Still, Ralph Lauren has received an honor that few will ever receive.

Ralph Lauren is the first American to become an honorary knight. The insignia was signed off by Queen Elizabeth, but he received it from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Additionally, Lauren was awarded the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, “[honoring] his lifetime contributions as a great American and his leadership role in the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner.”

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Coco Chanel in tights

Bolshoi Ballet’s prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova will star in a new ballet that celebrates Coco Chanel’s love of Russia. The one-act ballet, “Gabrielle Chanel” is choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and will feature 85 costumes using Chanel designs.

She loved Russian ballet, Russians and Russia,” Zakharova said. “She helped Russian aristocrats who were forced to flee Russia. She loved Russian models.” 

It will be a celebration of friendship between ballet and fashion,” Zakharova told reporters ahead of the performance, as reported in “But this will not be a fashion show, it will be a genuine spectacle.”

“Gabrielle Chanel” will feature Coco Chanel opening her first boutique, her love affair with Boy Capel and her relationship with the Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. “Gabrielle Chanel” opens on Saturday in Moscow.

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Final Farewell

At Grand Palais, Paris bid farewell to fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld with a tribute that featured readings and performances from Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton, Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams, Fanny Ardant and Lang Lang. This memorial of sorts was paired with videos of Karl Lagerfeld, accompanied by witty sayings and Lagerfeld-isms that, though sometimes funny, bordered on sassy, comeback snips.

This tribute also gave some renowned fashion designers the opportunity to pay their respects to the late, great Lagerfeld. Silvia Venturini Fendi, Stella McCartney, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Valentino, along with Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, all flew in for the occasion.

This “Karl Forever: A Celebration” was also attended by Princess Caroline, Charlotte Casiraghi, Carole Bouquet, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Claudia Schiffer, all seated in the front row. The opening video featured Anna Wintour who praised Karl for succeeding “not just as a designer, but also as a linguist, photographer, interior decorator, film maker and philanthropist. He was the original multi-tasker, a man who did everything at once … It is his human presence that we all mourn and celebrate.”

The tribute closed with Pharrell Williams performing, calling everyone to stand as a video montage of Lagerfeld taking bows at the brands he helmed—Chanel, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld—played behind Pharrell. Final farewell, Karl!!

William S. Gooch

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