If only we knew what W and WWD’s Patrick McCarthy was saying to Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld. John Farchild looks on. Photo by Cedric Dordevic.
It feels like more than the end of an era. In two weeks, fashion has lost three of its truly iconic voices — in the front row, in the atelier and on the page. First Lee Radziwill. And then within a week of each other, famed Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld, followed by Patrick McCarthy, the editorial director of Women’s Wear Daily and W when they were sister publications. Lagerfeld is fashion’s most prolific designer, his career spanning 60 years, starting at Chloé in the 1960s and including photography, art direction and so much more. His Chanel runways were as much about the spectacle and drama of what his imagination could conjure as they were the way he tweaked his nose at and subverted Coco Chanel’s rarified brand codes. And for much of all that, McCarthy was there, covering the Kaiser — as Lagerfeld was dubbed — fashion and its personalities with a journalists’ nose for scoop and signature naughty wit that defined his tenure (Google “Steven Klein Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie W 2005” for a good idea of what W was like during the McCarthy years).