PETALING JAYA: News of Karl Lagerfeld’s death was met with widespread shock and sadness here in Malaysia, especially from those in the local fashion community who have been inspired by his genius.
The iconic haute couture designer died in Paris at the age of 85 on Tuesday.
He was recognised for pushing the boundaries of fashion while working for both Chanel and Fendi, as well as with his own eponymous label.
High-profile Malaysian couturiers also paid their respects. Datuk Rizalman Ibrahim pointed out that Lagerfeld was a “fashion visionaire, and that he saw what other people didn’t”.
“Even at his age he didn’t stop. He kept on creating and inventing.
I have to say that this is something I personally find to be so inspiring,” said Datuk Bernard Chandran.
Couturier Khoon Hooi stated: “Karl has always proved to be a template of perseverance, self-discipline, creativity and sheer brilliance. Chanel and Fendi just won’t be the same without him.”
“It is a great sadness that we lose a great designer in the fashion industry. He has been in the industry since the 1960s and has become an icon with Chanel,” said renowned shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo.
For president of the Malaysia Official Designers Association, Gillian Hung, Lagerfeld was one of a kind.
She said that he “continuously maintained his true self, from the past to the present”.
Lagerfeld, instantly recognisable in his dark suits, pony-tailed white hair and tinted sun glasses, was loved by all.
His forceful personality and penchant for speaking the hard truths helped him stand out.
His fashion shows were extravagant, to say the least. They range from a full-size supermarket with aisles of food to an indoor beach complete with sand and rolling waves.
Marion Caunter, one of Malaysia’s well-known fashion personalities, reminisced about the first time she saw Lagerfeld on the runway.
It was a Chanel Cruise show in Singapore.
“When he walked the runway during the finale show, my heart almost stopped beating for a second,” she gushed.
“He has touched so many and I hope his legacy will continue to inspire more generations to come.”
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