Karl's Away?

RUMOURS are still just that, but the whispers in Paris this week following the Lanvin show indicate that - if Karl Lagerfeld was ever to leave his position at the design helm of Chanel - there is a likely successor in the frame: Alber Elbaz.

"It was almost like he was saying, 'Look at what I can do,'" an unnamed top retailer told The Daily. "He has the ready-to-wear, the accessories, the personality, all the attention of the press...that larger-than-life-ness that is required to run a house like Chanel."

"Karl is Karl - even at 76, he is the most prolific designer in fashion. Who else works on his level?" wondered one magazine fashion director following the Lanvin show. "But this show was so good that it almost proved if anyone else can even think about doing Chanel, it's Alber."

In June, on the eve of the Chanel couture show, Lagerfeld told the New York Times that he intended to "die with his boots on" and has previously compared his contracts to a fashion version of "death row"- but support for Elbaz within the fashion industry is such that his name may always be mentioned in the context of the Chanel helm.

Lauren Milligan

06 October 2009

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