Yesterday saw the worldwide launch of Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous collection on Net-a-Porter, which kicked off with a host of events around the globe. The Chanel maestro and all-round genius (he’s 78, FYI) has previously collaborated with brands such as H&M and Macy’s but the Karl range represents the first time that he has designed a collection independently under his own name.Net-a-Porter trade exclusively online but a silly little thing like lack of real estate didn’t prevent them from throwing a launch party. Or, as it happens, a plethora of Karl launch parties…across the globe…simultaneously. With events taking place in London, New York, Berlin, Paris and Sydney (and Twitter) we sent Karl himself* to report from the London launch in Covent Garden.
*Karl the Doll. Real Karl was at the Paris launch with Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet and editor of British Vogue Alexander Shulman.Karl Doll headed down to London’s Covent Garden, where Net-a-Porter had set up shop, at around 1pm. Despite the blacked out windows there was a festive atmosphere in the piazza with Karl balloons (naturallement) adorning the entrance. A crowd swelled up pretty quickly to await the big reveal, despite another two hours to go before Net-a-Porter opened for business.
At 3.30pm the windows were finally unveiled. Similar to the virtual shop Net-a-Porter hosted last year in London and New York for Fashion’s Night Out, to access the store all you had to do was hold an iPhone or iPad with a pre-loaded app up to the windows and wait for your device to recognise the item you were pointing at. Then you were taken straight to checkout or, if you were really lucky, to a screen saying you had won a prize! Even if you didn’t win, the Net-a-Porter staff made sure that no-one went home empty handed. In addition to handing out cups of Karl coffee (seriously, the coffee cups were customised with Karl logos) everyone left the virtual shop with a very real goody bag comprised of a Karl tote and a Karl Addict t-shirt.And so, to the reason for the festivities: the collection. It features some truly gorgeous pieces for a lot less than the price of a Chanel bag. My personal favourites are the racer back jersey top with a print of Karl, £70, (I collect Karl-print tops at the moment – I have one from Tokidoki and one from H&M), a leather bag, £295, which looks super sleek and has a fun, punky edge to it courtesy of some gun-metal hardware, and the sequinned crepe dress, £295, which will take you straight from office to party without breaking the bank.Karl Doll, of course, had an awesome time at the launch and even got to hang out with some of the Net-a-Porter crew (above). How did they know that Team Karl was his favourite team?