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'Tired' Lagerfeld misses Chanel Paris couture show

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Paris (AFP)

Karl Lagerfeld missed the first of his Paris haute couture fashion Chanel shows Tuesday, with the label later saying that the veteran designer "was tired this morning".

With the French capital hit by a snowstorm, the 85-year-old creator left his studio head Virginie Viard to take the bow for him at the end of his spring summer collection set in the gardens of an Italian villa.

With fashionistas expecting the traditional theatrical reveal at the end of the show where Lagerfeld would appear somewhere on the extravagant set, a Chanel executive emerged instead to announce his absence.

He said the designer would be at the second show for his super-rich clientele.

The bizarre twist set off speculation that the designer, known as the 'Kaiser', who has ruled over fashion for a large part of the past half century, may be about to step back.

Lagerfeld went out of his way to acknowledge Viard, one of the behind-the-scenes heroines at the luxury label, for her years of support at his last Paris show in October.

Asked by AFP, executives initially refused to give a reason for the designer's absence.

But later a spokeswoman told Women's Wear Daily that "he was tired this morning".

One veteran critic told AFP that she could not remember Lagerfeld ever missing a Chanel Paris show in his four decades the couture house.

The prolific German has left many younger creators in the dust, turning out collections season after season for Fendi and his own label as well as Chanel.

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