PARIS – Claude Pompidou, the former First Lady of France and a regular at the couture shows, died Tuesday at her home in Paris. She was 94.

Her eponymous foundation, which aids the elderly and handicapped, did not indicate the cause of death; however, it is understood she had recently sustained a fall.

“She was so sweet,” said designer Karl Lagerfeld. “She was tall, slim and elegant, so fashion was not a stranger to her. I must say she looked good in Chanel, and in her bold Cardin dresses, too.”

Lagerfeld said he was invited to dinner at her home recently, and Pompidou wore a long, navy wool crepe dress with flat shoes. “She was the chicest person there,” he said.

The widow of former French President Georges Pompidou - who died in office on April 2, 1974 – Pompidou made strong fashion statements in the Sixties, wearing trouser suits and adopting avant-garde designers like André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin. She also was a major proponent of modern art, championing the construction of the museum in Paris that bears her surname.

Services are set for Friday at the Eglise Saint-Louis en l’Ile.

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