Kaley Cuoco Marries Karl Cook in Romantic Ceremony — See Their Wedding Photos!

Kaley Cuoco is married!

The Big Bang Theory star tied the knot with professional equestrian Karl Cook at an intimate wedding at a horse stable near San Diego, California, attended by close friends and family on Saturday, PEOPLE confirms.

“Legally KCSQUARED 6-30-18 ❤,” Cuoco — who wore a white lace dress with a cape — captioned an Instagram showing her kissing Cook near horse stalls.

“Ok let’s party!!! #kcsquared 💋 💕,” the actress captioned a second snap of the newlyweds gearing up for the reception.

Cuoco, 32, and Cook, 27, delivered their own wedding vows, which had the bride both laughing and wiping tears from her cheeks, as a guest showed in an Instagram video.

One guest shared the moment Cook and Cuoco were married by a friend.

“I love you both so much,” the pal said before joking about how she took an online course to officiate the wedding, making Cuoco kneel over laughing.

Once pronounced husband and wife, the crowd cheered as the couple leaned in for their first kiss as newlyweds.

Another special video features the pair preparing for their first dance at the reception.

Cuoco and Cook got engaged on her birthday in November 2017 after dating for nearly two years.

Just hours before sharing the proposal on social media, Cook teased Cuoco with a fake ring while shopping at Target.

“On my loves birthday I got her everything she has always wanted….now judging by her face maybe not, it’s the thought that counts right,” he shared.

Then, Cook — the son of software billionaire Scott Cook — treated her to a romantic candlelit dinner and popped the question for real for a stunning tear-drop diamond, documenting her tearful reaction on Instagram.

She celebrated her bachelorette party in June.

“He is my perfect match,” Cuoco gushed to PEOPLE in March, adding that she hoped to make their pets part of their wedding. “He lets me wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to go and rescue rabbits.’ And he’s like, ‘All right, let’s get a coffee and let’s go.’ And that is him. We are the same, our views are the same, our morals are the same, he is my perfect match.”

The duo started dating in spring 2016 and made their first public appearance as a couple in September that same year. (This is the actress’s second marriage; she filed for divorce from former tennis player Ryan Sweeting in September 2015.)

“From the beginning, Kaley was crazy about Karl,” an insider previously told PEOPLE. “They have so much in common and he makes her so happy. She went through such a tough time with her divorce from Ryan, but she never gave up on finding love again. She’s really a romantic!”

 


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Books of The Times: With ‘Spring,’ Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Latest Project Comes Into Focus

In the third of four books addressed to his youngest daughter, Knausgaard returns to form, and to ruthlessness, writing to fight a familial legacy of alienation from the world.
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Karl Lagerfeld Says Models Who Complain About Being Groped Should Join A Nunnery

“If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model!”
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Karl Lagerfeld to Open First U.S. Store in SoHo Saturday

Karl Lagerfeld is ready to take SoHo by storm.
On Saturday, the Karl Lagerfeld brand will open its first U.S. store at 420 West Broadway in New York, which features a mix of Lagerfeld’s European collection and Karl Lagerfeld Paris, which is a joint venture with G-III Apparel Group.
“The moment seems to be right and the space is great,” Lagerfeld told WWD. He noted that distribution of his signature brand, re-launched in the burgeoning masstige category in 2012, first put down retail roots in Europe and then China. “Our first tests in the U.S. were great.”
Inspired by the designer’s personal home and studio, the 3,230-square-foot store has a sophisticated yet inviting, open feel. Each of the furnishings has an unusual story behind it, from antique mirrors to velvet chairs and luxurious marble finishes to the giant Tokidoki silver cartoon sculpture of Lagerfeld — with a ponytail — holding his famous feline, Choupette. A bespoke carpet has a red border around its edges, similar to the border that the designer draws on all of his sketches. A full-size photograph of Lagerfeld, wearing fingerless gloves and chains, and taking a photo with his camera, greets visitors at the entrance.
One highlight is a library wall inspired by

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EXCLUSIVE: Kaia Gerber Designs Capsule Collection With Karl Lagerfeld

PARIS — Move over, Gigi — there’s a new “It” girl in town.
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, Kaia Gerber has inked her first big design collaboration, with Karl Lagerfeld, no less. The 16-year-old daughter of Cindy Crawford has worked on a capsule collection that will hit stores in September, WWD has learned exclusively.
Consisting of ready-to-wear and accessories, including footwear, sunglasses and jewelry, the line is described as blending Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and Gerber’s signature West Coast casual style, which has garnered her 2.7 million followers on Instagram.
The Karl Lagerfeld x Kaia collection will launch globally in Karl Lagerfeld stores, online at Karl.com and with select wholesale partners.
Lagerfeld singled out Gerber as a rising talent months before her breakout season in September, which saw her walk the catwalk for 18 brands, including Calvin Klein, Prada, Saint Laurent and Versace.
She ended it with an honor most seasoned models would die for: Opening the Chanel show for Lagerfeld, who in addition to heading his own label is creative director of Chanel and Italian fur specialist Fendi.
“When Karl first told us his idea to collaborate with Kaia, we were all excited by the incredible potential and power of bringing their

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Caroline Lebar on the Art of Tarts

QUEEN OF TARTS: The ever-disciplined Karl Lagerfeld may not be partial to pastry himself, but the designer on Thursday threw open the doors of the Saint-German flagship of his namesake brand for the launch of the second volume of tart recipes by his longtime communications director Caroline Lebar.
Fans including Nicole and Jean-Jacques Picart got in line to have copies of the book signed as Lebar’s son Louis Cussec — aka DJ Kuss — manned a set of decks at the store’s entrance.

Jean-Jacques and Nicole Picart 
Dominique Maitre

Lagerfeld, who was on a shoot, could not attend the book signing in person but lent his support by phone, even if pies are not his thing.
“I’ve never had him try one. Besides, I only make them when I’m in the country,” said an upbeat Lebar, who confessed that she’s relatively new to the baking game. She first dabbled in pastry after buying a country house four years ago.

Louis Cussec 
Dominique Maitre

“Before that I had never made a tart in my life, but we had fruit in the garden and I didn’t want to see it going to waste. I would buy ready-made pastry from the local store and started posting tarts on my Instagram account for

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Karl Lagerfeld to Deck the Halls at Claridge’s in London

KRISTMAS KARL: Karl Lagerfeld is the latest creative type to design the Claridge’s Christmas tree, which will be unveiled in the hotel lobby on the morning of Nov. 22.
“Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood,” said Lagerfeld who was born in Hamburg, Germany.
This is the eighth year that Claridge’s has invited a designer to re-interpret the tree in their distinctive style, with past collaborators coming from a variety of creative industries.
Last year, Apple’s chief design officer Sir John Ive and Marc Newson — a designer who works across multiple disciplines, from furniture to aircraft and yachts — were tapped for the occasion.
The Claridge’s Christmas tree has become a holiday landmark in London, drawing large numbers of visitors.
In the past, tree designers have also included Alber Elbaz, John Galliano and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, who adorned his tree with metallic umbrellas from top to bottom.

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Karl Lagerfeld: In Their Own Words

What’s Karl Lagerfeld’s greatest contribution to fashion? An array of industry figures weigh in:
 
“Karl Lagerfeld has set a unique design path ever since his first collections and collaborations with major luxury houses such as Fendi. Never has anyone deployed such inventiveness and coherence in fashion over such a long period. If I had to pinpoint the source of his talent, I would seek it in drawing: Karl sketches admirably well, he has an artist’s eye and a craftsman’s hand. He is a rare combination of a deep European culture, a keen sense of line and silhouette, and a continuously renewed passion for the tradition of artisanal professions whose know-how he invigorates with each collection. I am infinitely grateful to him for his friendship and his loyalty. He knows how deeply I respect and admire him.” — Bernard Arnault
 
“I doubt that Karl Lagerfeld has ever been bored in his life. He takes his inspiration from so many places and so many things. He took on the codes of Coco Chanel’s iconic brand and injected it with a spirit and creativity that has kept it modern and relevant to women of all ages. He has such energy and such incredible influence, not

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Karl Lagerfeld Skewers German Leader in Cartoon Portraying Hitler

GHOSTS OF THE PAST: In his most biting political cartoon yet, Karl Lagerfeld points the finger at German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a far-right party won seats in the German parliament for the first time in half a century.
Lagerfeld blamed Merkel’s decision to let more than one million refugees into the country since 2015 for the rise in support for the Alternative for Germany party, which won nearly 13 percent of the vote in the German federal elections, making it the third-largest party in the country.
The sketch, scheduled to be published on Saturday in the monthly magazine supplement to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, shows Adolf Hitler telling Merkel: “Thank you very much for inadvertently allowing my descendants to be represented in parliament.” A distraught Merkel asks: “What have I done?”
Lagerfeld has contributed caricatures to the monthly magazine since it was launched in February 2013. Though he does not vote, he frequently targets politicians including Merkel.
“I am beside myself!” he said of the rise of right-wing populism in Germany. “I hoped that something like this would never happen again in my life,” added Lagerfeld, who grew up in Germany under the rule of Hitler’s Nazi Party. “I am ashamed of

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Baz Luhrmann on Karl Lagerfeld’s Staging Genius

SHOW BUSINESS: “I’ve always maintained that if Karl [Lagerfeld] gave up his day job he’d be the world’s greatest opera director. He’s so great at the mise-en-scène, and creating gigantic operatic moments,” said Baz Luhrmann, who joined guests including Cindy Crawford, Vanessa Paradis and Monica Bellucci at the Chanel show Tuesday in the Grand Palais, presented against the backdrop of a vast waterfall set.
“He’s a brilliant stage director, he really is,” added Luhrmann, who said the scenery made him think of the Niagara Falls but also his homeland, Australia. “That brown waterfall, and I love the way the water is shining in the sunlight this morning. It’s great that the Grand Palais has access to the outdoor environment because you can’t create that light—that looks so real up there. It’s brilliant. I guess with Karl, you always ask what’s next, how much bigger can it get?”
“Baz says it reminds him of Niagara Falls, I don’t know, I thought it was something oriental because of the shapes of the trees and the rock,” said Luhrmann’s front row neighbor, Mario Testino. “I was wondering who is throwing the water over the top,” he laughed. The photographer’s current projects include opening more playgrounds in his

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Vans x Karl Lagerfeld Is the Ultimate High-Low Fashion Mashup

Get ready for some very stylish sneakers.

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Brigitte Macron Talks Karl, Skirt Lengths in French Elle

BRIGITTE MANIA: Amid signs of “Brigitte mania” sweeping across France,  the Aug. 18 edition of French Elle includes the first interview with the country’s fledgling First Lady, Brigitte Macron.
The cover of the issue, out on newsstands today, depicts Macron at the Élysée Palace in a casual chic ensemble pairing a shapely cream jacket by Dior with a white T-shirt and slim jeans by Saint Laurent.
Pictures accompanying the 10-page feature inside show her walking in a courtyard hand-in-hand with her husband, President Emmanuel Macron, in the same look only swapping in a tailored red jacket by Azzedine Alaïa with mesh accents. She is also seen sitting at her desk in a red short-sleeved biker-inspired dress by Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton.
In the article, Macron shares her admiration for Ghesquière and Karl Lagerfeld, whom she considers friends. She also lists among her other favorite designers Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Alexandre Vauthier, and Alaïa, but concedes she finds the latter’s skirts too short. “I wear above-the-knee, not minis! Although I loved to wear minis when I was younger, we would hide them in our bags when we went out…. and we’d slip bloomers on underneath to dance to rock ‘n’ roll,” Macron says. “We

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Karl Lagerfeld Planning Excelsior Milano Pop Up

STYLE IKON: Timed to coincide with Milan Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfeld is to open a pop-up shop on the ground floor of local luxury department store Excelsior Milano in mid-September dedicated to its Karl Ikonik accessories line.
Items on sale in the temporary space, due to remain in place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 9, will include bags, wallets, small leather goods and lifestyle products based on the signature look of the brand’s namesake founder (think sunglasses, leather gloves and tuxedo blazers.)
For the event, the brand is set to wrap the store’s façade in screens — from the ground floor to the fourth story — projecting animated digital videos.
Karl Lagerfeld counts 80 mono-brand points of sale worldwide, in addition to wholesale accounts.

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Karl Lagerfeld to Launch Color Cosmetics With ModelCo

UNITED COLORS: Karl Lagerfeld is expanding into beauty.
The fashion house will launch a limited-edition color cosmetics collection with Australian beauty company ModelCo in early 2018, WWD has learned. This follows earlier collaborations with Shu Uemura on capsule holiday collections.
The Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo collection, based on the theme “Illuminated Beauty,” will be available worldwide in Karl Lagerfeld stores and ModelCo’s premium distribution network, in addition to their respective web sites and leading beauty retailers.
“Through this collaboration, we can offer our consumers a glimpse into how we translate the Karl Lagerfeld vision and aesthetic into unique cosmetics,” Pier Paolo Righi, chief executive officer of Karl Lagerfeld, said in a statement.
“We look forward to developing the collection and combining our signature DNA with innovative, cutting-edge beauty products for all women,” he added.
Shelley Sullivan, founder and ceo of ModelCo, said she was honored to collaborate with Lagerfeld. “This superfun, highly coveted and collectible collection will combine our high-quality formulas and innovative, technical packaging with Karl Lagerfeld’s unmistakeable artistic aesthetic that’s sophisticated, modern and cool,” she said.
Launched by Sullivan, a former model agent, in 2002, Sydney-based ModelCo is known for its color cosmetics, skin care and best-selling tanning products, with one unit of the

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Karl Lagerfeld Interviews French Astronaut in Space

ROCKET MAN: Karl Lagerfeld has revealed the real inspiration behind his space-themed show for Chanel in March: French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who has kept the nation in thrall with his regular reports from the International Space Station since November.
The designer hooked up with the cosmonaut for a remote interview broadcast on French radio France Info on Saturday, in which he asked him everything from what he eats, how he washes and how often he works out.
“I admire [him]. In fact, he has even inspired fashion since I was indirectly inspired not only by where he is, but also by his personality, because I think he is more charismatic than his predecessors,” Lagerfeld said.
The designer installed a giant rocket 35 meters (115 feet) high inside the Grand Palais in Paris for his spectacular fall ready-to-wear display.
“I am very flattered that Karl Lagerfeld draws inspiration from space for his collections,” Pesquet said. “Thankfully he did not draw inspiration from astronauts’ outfits, because obviously here, we tend to wear European Space Agency polo shirts and pants with Velcro fastenings, which is not that great.
“But it’s good. It means space makes people dream, that people are interested in exploration and science, and that’s a

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Karl Lagerfeld Collaborates With Vilebrequin on Swimwear Capsule

ENDLESS SUMMER: Next time Karl Lagerfeld heads down to Saint-Tropez, he will be able to don beachwear bearing his own likeness — even if he generally favors a white suit for his Riviera jaunts.
The Karl Lagerfeld brand has collaborated with French luxury swimwear maker Vilebrequin on a limited-edition capsule collection of eight items that includes men’s and women’s swimwear, beachwear and beach accessories.
The two brands have a common shareholder: G-III Apparel Group. G-III, headed by Morris Goldfarb, owns Vilebrequin and has a 19 percent stake in the Lagerfeld label.
The new line will go on sale in May at select Karl Lagerfeld stores, Vilebrequin stores and on their respective e-commerce sites, with prices ranging from 60 euros to 210 euros, or $ 65 to $ 225 at current exchange.
Inspired by iconic Rivieras and coastlines, the pieces come in a vibrant azure shade set off with pops of graphic black and white, and feature Lagerfeld’s instantly recognizable silhouette printed in black in lieu of a logo.
For men, they include a polo shirt and two styles of swim shorts: one fitted with a flat-belt waist, and the other inspired by classic Seventies silhouettes. For women, the offer consists of a bikini, a tunic and swim

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Karl Lagerfeld Taps Illustrator Steven Wilson for Capsule Collection

COLOR WHEEL: Karl Lagerfeld is getting the color printing treatment.
The designer has tapped artist and illustrator Steven Wilson to collaborate on a limited-edition capsule collection of clothing and accessories featuring designs made using layers of cyan, magenta and yellow – the hues that form the basis of the printing process.
Wilson created graphics including a portrait of Lagerfeld, his cat Choupette, the brand logo, a camera and a pair of sunglasses. They feature on items such as an embroidered satin bomber jacket, sweatshirts, jeans, a tote bag and an assortment of accessories that will go on sale in stores and online on April 1.
“The principe behind the graphics is that they are made using just three layers. Abstract cyan, magenta and yellow shapes are laid on top of one another to create a design that has identifiable form,” Wilson said in a statement. “The beauty of this process is that where the colors overlap, you get secondary colors — red, green and so on.”

A look from Steven Wilson’s capsule collection for Karl Lagerfeld featuring the designer’s cat Choupette. 
Courtesy Photo

The U.K.-based illustrator has worked with brands including Nike, Adidas, Levi’s, Converse and Stussy, but said he rarely gets name-checked. “All too often

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How Karl Lagerfeld Became the Master of the Celebrity Fashion Universe–and Why Hollywood Still Can’t Get Enough of Him

Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Muses, Kristen Stewart, Kendall Jenner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Blake Lively, Keira KnightleyFor all of the acting superlatives deservedly bestowed on Meryl Streep over the years, she’s never really been known for her fashion.
She’s been showbiz royalty for so long, her…

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Karl Lagerfeld Claims Meryl Streep Wanted to Get Paid to Wear Chanel to the 2017 Oscars

Karl Lagerfeld, Meryl StreepMeryl Streep is famous for creating award-winning drama on the silver screen, but that drama might be seeping into her closet.
With just days until the 2017 Oscars, where the actress…

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Lily-Rose Depp, 17, Is Karl Lagerfeld’s Latest Chanel Show Bride: See Her Show-Stopping Gown

Lately, it seems as though every major fashion house has eschewed their usual troupe of elite supermodels and Instagram It-girls in favor of the all-star children of equally all-star parents. If you need any further proof of that fact, a quick glance at Dolce & Gabbana’s front row and subsequent ad campaign will convince you. But while this trend may be a new tactic for some brands, Chanel has long endorsed these celebrity scions, which was clear at its latest haute couture show when Lily-Rose Depp walked in the finale gown.

The grand finale dress at Chanel’s couture show has long been considered a coveted spot, showcasing the house’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s current muse of the moment in a grand wedding gown. Everyone from Cara Delevingne to Kendall Jenner has filled the recognized runway spot.  This year the honor was bestowed on Lily-Rose who although not officially a model has posed for the brand’s eyewear campaign and walked in their show in the past. For this collection, she walked the mirrored runway at the Grand Palais in a huge, ruffled baby pink gown featuring a voluminous skirt and sleeves with a corseted bodice, a peter pan collar and a large belt.

Naturally, her mother and another former Chanel muse, Vanessa Paradis, sat front row at the show to support her daughter alongside her aunt Alyson Paradis.

RELATED PHOTOS: Fashion Week 2016: Fergie Gives a Pantsuit a High-Fashion Upgrade and More Star Snaps from Paris!

Of course, while their appearance may not have been the major headline from the affair, fashion week’s favorite faces Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were also in attendance, albeit in much more covered up ensembles than we’ve seen them wearing out on the streets lately. Kendall wore a glittering silver gown with a plunging neckline, feathered peplum and sheer bottom, while Bella wore a similar look in black but with a patterned skirt and matching boots.

What do you think of the new Chanel collection? Would you like to see Lily-Rose walk in more shows? Sound off below!


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Karl Lagerfeld Photo Expo Bows in Paris

PARIS — “He knows exactly what he has in the frame. There are no accidents, no surprises.”
So says Eric Pfrunder, image director of Chanel and co-curator of “Karl Lagerfeld, a Visual Journey,” a sprawling and diverse photo exhibition that opens at the Pinacothèque de Paris art gallery here Friday and runs through March 20.
Pfrunder knows better than anyone. In January 1987, when Chanel’s couturier complained to him about the quality of some press-kit photos, Pfrunder dared him do better. “I said to Karl, ‘OK, now you do it,’” he recalled on Thursday during a walk-through of the spare, dimly lit showcase.
Of course, Lagerfeld has never stopped shooting – campaigns, editorials and artistic imagery — always choosing the best location, the best lighting and without any waffling, according to Pfrunder.
“Karl has an eye,” he marveled. “He’s not taking 300 shots. He’s doing five, maybe six. Generally, it’s the first frame that is the best. He’s very fast because he has one vision, and that’s it.”
While Lagerfeld is reluctant to describe his photographic style, Pfrunder cited a storytelling approach, and a distinct “atmosphere” heightened by strong contrast. “When it’s black, he likes it deep black,” he said, pointing to a never-before-seen nude series of

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Karl Lagerfeld to Get Photo Exhibition in Paris

KARL IN THE FRAME: Karl Lagerfeld trains his camera on wherever his varied interests take him: fashion, architecture, Paris at night and all manner of personalities.
All that and more will be reflected in “Karl Lagerfeld: A Visual Journey,” an exhibition of his photography slated to open Oct. 16 and run until March 20 at the Pinacothèque de Paris, a private museum just behind the Madeleine Church.
The showcase is being chosen by publisher Gerhard Steidl and Eric Pfrunder, image director at Chanel and one of the designer’s chief image collaborators, who in 1987 encouraged Lagerfeld to try his hand shooting the photos for a Chanel press kit. That would open up a new career path for the German designer, who would go on to shoot campaigns for Chanel, Fendi, Dior Homme and others, along with editorial shoots, and a slew of artistic projects for exhibitions or books.
“People always want to know about my style of photography. I can’t answer that,” according to Lagerfeld. “That’s up to viewers to decide. I don’t have a style, but several, or none. You should never stay still, neither in life, nor in fashion, nor in photography.”
Similarly, Lagerfeld experiments with all kinds of photographic and printing

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Karl Lagerfeld Unveils First Kids Collection

CHILD’S PLAY: Kids and grown-ups munched on cotton candy and Karl Lagerfeld-stamped marshmallows at an event to present the new Karl Kids collection on Wednesday at Karl Lagerfeld’s headquarters in Paris.
Workshops for kids included one to make a key chain in the shape of Karl Lagerfeld’s profile and a pattern coloring workshop where kids could dress a Karl Lagerfeld figurine.
Lagerfeld’s fashions are now offered for boys and girls from newborn up to 16 years old, along with a range of accessories including black gloves, a black tie and a Choupette headband, named after Lagerfeld’s pet cat.
The feline also appears as the whiskered logo festooned on the clothes.
Lagerfeld’s signature kids’ wear collection is set for spring 2016 retailing, with France’s Groupe CWF having the global license.
Selected pieces will be available at children’s e-retailer Melijoe in December before the full collection rolls out to multibrand stores and department stores internationally in January.
French actress Céline Sallette came with her 6-year-old daughter Alice. “She wants to decide what she wears now,” Sallette uttered with a sigh, while browsing the collection.
The actress has a flurry of films set for release by year-end including “Les Rois du Monde” and “Cessez-le-feu” with Romain Duris as well as the second season of

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Sources: Karl reaches deal to coach Kings

George Karl has reached a deal to become the next coach of the Sacramento Kings, league sources confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday.
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Karl Lagerfeld Taps Cartoonist Tiffany Cooper for Capsule Collection

Tiffany Cooper with her drawings.

Tiffany Cooper was invited by Karl Lagerfeld to create a capsule collection featuring her drawings of the designer and his famous pet Choupette.

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Karl Lagerfeld Tapped for Hyères Festival

The designer is to handle artistic direction, with Chanel studio head Virginie Viard as president of the fashion jury.

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The Love Advice That Shocked Expert Karl Pillemer

SPECIAL FROM Next Avenue

By Suzanne Gerber

You’d think that nothing could shock Karl Pillemer, when it comes to the lives of older folks. After all, the distinguished gerontologist, family sociologist, Cornell University professor and leading researcher on aging (he runs the Cornell Legacy Project) wrote the 2011 bestseller 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice for the Wisest Americans.

And yet, he says, “I was surprised at how important sex is to a couple’s relationship even into their 80s and 90s. I shouldn’t have been, but I was also hit over the head by how open and willing older people are to talk about sexuality with an interviewer.”

Pillemer is referring to the thousands of hours of interviews he and his team conducted for his latest book, 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationship, and Marriage. Over the course of two years, they talked with some 700 folks whose marriages lasted an average of 43 years and came away with valuable lessons for everyone — including himself.

View From the Finish Line

Published this month, “30 Lessons for Loving” picks up where the first book left off, but instead of offering advice on a host of topics, this one, as the title suggests, focuses on love and marriage. Pillemer chose that subject partly in a leap of faith and partly because of the strong feedback he was receiving from readers.

The leap of faith was the result of the research he kept encountering. “Study after study showed that people in their 70s, 80s and beyond were actually happier than younger people,” he says.

And the data shows that successful relationships are very important to the next generations, leading Pillemer to conclude that “marriage is here to stay. Nearly 100 percent of young people plan to get married and think it’s a good thing. I know they’re receptive to hearing advice from people who made it 50 years because they’ve got credibility.”

Readers were also writing to him asking for more material on love and marriage. One woman told Pillemer she gave a copy of the first book to her son when he got engaged and at the wedding the couple had a “Lessons for Living” station, where guests were invited to leave comments. Dozens of other readers told Pillemer they gave their children copies and bookmarked the lesson, “Don’t Rush Into Marriage,” as a not-so-subtle hint. Thus, 30 Lessons for Loving was born.

A Dangerous Experiment

According to Pillemer, this is the first time in history that young people have little to no contact with older people except maybe a grandparent. “New data shows that less than one-third of people over 65 have had meaningful conversations with people under 30 in the previous month,” he says. “Take out family, and it’s less than 5 percent. People are more likely to have friends of another race than friends more or less than 10 years apart.”

Not only is this shocking to Pillemer, it’s deeply disheartening. “I think we’re in the midst of a dangerous experiment,” he says. “This is the most age-segregated society that’s ever been. Vast numbers of younger people are likely to live into their 90s without contact with older people. As a result, young people’s view of aging is highly unrealistic and absurd. “

So now, Pillemer says, “I’m focusing on older people’s wisdom and helping creating positive new images. That’s one of the reasons for this book.”

Love and Marriage

Lessons for Loving is divided into five sections — Lessons for Finding a Mate, Communication and Conflict, Getting Over the Hard Parts, Keeping the Spark Alive and Thinking Like an Expert About Love. Each of these is further broken down into six lessons, such as “Give Up Grudges” and “Accept Your Partner As Is.”

The book reads like a candid and entertaining advice column, which is precisely what Pillemer intended. “As an academic I had to learn to write in a whole new genre that I felt younger people could use,” he says. He succeeded. The book is eminently readable.

The “experts” — the author’s solution to the dilemma of what to call folks in this age range — had surprising and enlightening things to say.

Pillemer recently got to put one such gem of wisdom, from a 71-year-old interviewee named April, to good use. When he and his wife were having what he calls persistent and irreconcilable differences about a bathroom renovation, he recalled the woman’s words: “It’s important to let some things go, to figure out what matters and what really doesn’t matter. If [my husband and I] were in some sort of struggle, we would stop and say, “Which one of us is this more important to?” And when we could figure that out, the other one found it so much easier to let go.”

In describing his bathroom drama, he says, “My wife wanted a claw-foot tub, and I wanted a stall shower. The disagreements went on and on until I recalled April’s advice and realized how important the tub was to my wife. So I let her have it. It might sound small, but it was huge to us.”

The best thing about researching and writing this book, Pillemer adds, was the long view it’s afforded him. “It never hit me before, but marriage is really a discipline, where you agree to forgo something for long-term success.”

His other big takeaway: “I have a renewed sense of hopefulness that we can keep things vibrant and exciting.”

Now, that’s exciting.

Read more from Next Avenue:
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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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