PARIS — Chanel might be famous for the little black dress. But Karl Lagerfeld, the longtime creative director of the famed French fashion house, who died in February, had another wardrobe staple that he longed to call his own.
“If you ask me what I’d most like to have invented in fashion, I’d say the white shirt,” the designer once said. “Everything else comes after.”
A large white banner emblazoned with that quote hung in a courtyard off Saint-Germain-du-Prés Wednesday night, as hundreds of guests at Paris Fashion Week — including the American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and models from Kaia Gerber to Karlie Kloss — gathered for the latest tribute to the Lagerfeld name.
The White Shirt Project, a traveling exhibition curated by Carine Roitfeld, drew dozens of high-profile participants, including the retailer Sarah Andelman, the model Eva Herzigova and Alessandro Michele of Gucci, and asked them to create bespoke white shirts inspired by their personal memories of Mr. Lagerfeld.
An additional seven shirts — by Ms. Roitfeld, Cara Delevingne, Tommy Hilfiger, Sébastien Jondeau, Diane Kruger, Kate Moss and Takashi Murakami — have been replicated 77 times each and are available online for $777 in the United States and 777 euros in Europe on the Karl Lagerfeld and Farfetch websites. (Seven was Mr. Lagerfeld’s favorite number.)
Proceeds will be donated to Sauver la Vie, a charity for medical research at Paris Descartes University, which Mr. Lagerfeld had supported (he designed its logo).
All the shirts were displayed at the debut cocktail party, some on rotating installations in a hall of mirrors, the better to see the celebrity handiwork.
Ms. Delevingne’s shirt, for example, had a scattering of stars inked on a shoulder, one red heart on the collar, with a lion on one sleeve and an elephant on the other. Ms. Moss opted for a short poem called “Clutching Pens,” by a young poet she thought Mr. Lagerfeld would have liked, handwritten on one panel. And Ms. Roitfeld’s creation had a series of tight pleats through the midriff.
“Karl loved corsets, so I wanted my shirt to have very strong boning,” she said, “then I opened one side of the collar so it looks ripped. Karl liked tight shirts and high collars but I love an open neckline, so the result here is punk meets couture. I am a Virgo and so was he. Virgos feel that everything needs to have a reason behind it.”