“You don’t necessarily see many direct London style influences in his Chanel collections – I wouldn’t have thought the spring/summer 2012 giant underwater scenes on the catwalk came from the streets of Dalston – but you can definitely see he is looking to London’s cool when he selects muses,” explains Ian. Lagerfeld’s current love for the capital’s bright young things include ‘It girl’ and model du jour Cara Delevingne, who has walked the catwalk for Chanel and fronts the new Fendi campaign; his ongoing relationship with Keira Knightley, who recently took on the coveted role of Coco Chanel herself in this year’s Lagerfeld-directed Once Upon A Time film short; and singers such as Rihanna and Rita Ora, who have frequented Chanel front rows and ensure Lagerfeld scoops up the emerging hipster market alongside his more traditional Chanel customer.
While his own labels do not currently retail ion a bricks and mortar shop in the capital, Chanel and Fendi ready-to-wear are both stocked in Harrods and Selfridges. For a more brand immersive experience, try Fendi’s flagship store on Sloane Street or Chanel’s brand new 12,600 square-foot Maison on New Bond Street. Often as well known for his outspoken and direct oratory style as his fashion finesse, newly released tome The World According To Karl by Jean-Christophe Napias, Sandrine Gulbenkian and Patrick Mauriès (Thames & Hudson) documents this in a beautifully graphic way. It’s widely available in most good book shops in the city. Proof, if any were required, that Lagerfeld really does live up to his moniker as fashion’s Kaiser.