Karl Lagerfeld’s Message: ‘No Smoking Here’

The designer handed out a humorous illustration to editors during previews — his way of saying the Chanel show will be tuxedo-free, focusing on its own codes.

COCO PUFF?: Is it the Hedi Slimane effect? Paris runways have been flooded with Yves Saint Laurent references, including plenty of tuxedos, no doubt a riposte to the influential men’s wear designer’s debut at the august house.

Not so chez Chanel. “No Smoking Here” reads a sign posted in its Rue Cambon studios, a tongue-in-chic declaration that Chanel has oodles of its own codes to exalt. Karl Lagerfeld handed out the hilarious illustration to editors during previews Monday. Delicately hand-colored by Lagerfeld, it depicts a woman in a “smoking” — the French term for tuxedo — puffing away, a big red line through her. “We don’t have to do smoking. Hedi Slimane really does it well,” Lagerfeld said with a grin, noting that he owned tuxedos by Slimane when he was designer at Dior Homme. “They were impeccable.”

This story first appeared in the October 2, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.