In over forty years of reign at the house of Chanel, this Spring 2019 couture show marks the first time that Karl Lagerfeld misses the finale roll call, where he greets his guests at the end of his runway shows.
Set (as usual) at the magnificent Grand Palais, the venue had been arranged on occasion as a villa on the edge of the Mediterranean, where Chanel showcases its Spring 2019 couture collection.
Absent at the first half, Chanel first indicated that the designer would be present for the second part through an announcement made by Michel Gaubert, the show's sound director.
But this was not the case since Karl Lagerfeld did not appear after the second half of his haute couture collection. The house Chanel finally announced in a special statement that "Mr Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him".
For more than a year now, speculation has been going on concerning the health status of Karl, who seems more and more weakened at each appearance. This unprecedented absence is fuelling the rumours about a possible retirement of the 85-year-old designer.