Karl Lagerfeld will reportedly be cremated, and his ashes will be mixed with those of his late partner, Jacques de Bascher, who died in 1989.
According to the Daily Mail, the iconic Chanel designer, who died at the age of 85 on February 19, was in a relationship with de Bascher for 18 years before he died of AIDS in the late 1980s. His partner was a prominent figure in the fashion party circle in Paris during the 1970s, where he was known as a “bad boy.” Lagerfeld himself claimed he never slept with de Bascher, who was also involved with Yves Saint Laurent, and this was something the German fashion designer was well aware of. But de Bascher was one of his closest companions in life, and despite his hatred of all things death-related, Lagerfeld cared for him in his final days and even organized his funeral.
In regard to his own funeral arrangements, the Chanel mastermind famously said, “There will be no funeral. I’d rather die!” However, he did express his desire for his ashes to be mixed with those of his mother, as well as of his beloved cat, Choupette. But now, speculation arose surrounding the idea that in addition to being reunited with his mother, he could also be reunited with his “great love,” Jacques de Bascher. Not much was known about the latter until Lagerfeld agreed to be interviewed by journalist Marie Ottavi in 2017 to provide information for her book, Jacques de Bascher, dandy de l’ombre.
Karl Lagerfeld and Jacques De Bascher. Par excellence. pic.twitter.com/jFcpiVKhFI
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He was described as a party lover who charmed both men and women across the fashion world, and as someone who was a well-known consumer of alcohol, drugs and sex. He was also involved with Saint Laurent, with Lagerfeld even revealing how the former’s business partner, Pierre Bergé, accused him at one point of using de Bascher as a way to disrupt the house of Saint Laurent.
“I infinitely loved that boy. I was seduced by his physical charm,” said Lagerfeld, who met de Bascher when he was only 19. And despite hating death and refusing to attend funerals, the fashion designer stood by his lover’s side as he was consumed by AIDS at the young age of 38, sleeping in a cot next to him and even organizing his funeral when he ultimately passed away.
Exactly because Lagerfeld refused to even entertain the idea of his own death, no funeral announcements have been made on behalf of his estate just yet. According to French paper Le Monde, his assistants at the American Hospital of Neuilly were “terrified” to discuss his obituary, and his friend and colleague Bernard Arnault said that he “does not want to consider” his estate.
“Besides, we never talk about it. The only case similar to Karl’s is the pope, you know!”Arnault continued.