Update, 10:20 p.m.: Meryl Streep has issued a second statement disavowing Karl Lagerfeld's comments, to WWD. “In reference to Mr. Lagerfeld's ‘statement,’ there is no ‘controversy’: Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication. That publication printed this defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally, and continues, globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of my record breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience. I do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld's generic ‘statement’ of regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology. He lied, they printed the lie, and I am still waiting.”
Update, 7:45 p.m.: Chanel has issued a statement to Refinery29 about the dress situation, which backtracks from designer Karl Lagerfeld's earlier comments to WWD. The fashion house clarified that "no mention of the reason" for Streep's decision to wear a dress from a different designer was given. "Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep's stylist to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards, with the full understanding that she was considering options from other design houses," the statement reads. "When informed by the stylist that Ms. Streep had chosen a dress by another designer there was no mention of the reason. Chanel wishes to express our continued and deep respect for Ms. Streep."
Update, 10:15 a.m.: A representative for Meryl Streep has told Refinery29 that Karl Lagerfeld's comments to Women's Wear Daily are "completely untrue." "The WWD story is a completely untrue story," the Oscar winner's publicist told us over email. "Ms. Streep would NEVER wear anything in exchange for payment." She added that the executive director of VIP relations at Chanel could corroborate Streep's side of the story. This story was originally published at 8 a.m. EST.
Whatever Meryl Streep ends up wearing to Sunday's Oscars ceremony, you can safely assume it won't be a Chanel creation. A representative for the actress, who is nominated in the Best Actress category for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, has told The Hollywood Reporter that claims made by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld about her Oscars dress are false. Yesterday, Women's Wear Daily ran an article in which Lagerfeld, who oversees Chanel, accused Streep of requesting a customized version of an existing Chanel creation, with the intention of wearing it to the awards show. He told WWD that work on the dress was underway when Streep's team canceled the order, suggesting that another fashion house was paying for her to wear something else. “I made a sketch, and we started to make the dress,” Lagerfeld said, referring to an embroidered gray silk gown which Streep reportedly wanted to have a higher neckline. Then came the phone call. "'Don’t continue the dress,'" the German-born designer alleged a member of Streep's team told him. "'We found somebody who will pay us.'" That's at odds with what Streep's representative told THR, which is that it's "against her personal ethics" to accept payment for wearing a dress. It is standard practice, however, for fashion houses to give celebrities clothing for free, especially in the case of high-profile events like the Oscars. In Lagerfeld's version of events, the actress, who was hit the Oscars red carpet in Lanvin and Chris March designs in the past, allegedly wanted a free dress and payment. “After we gift her a dress that’s 100,000 euros [$105,000], we found later we had to pay [for her to wear it]," he claimed in the WWD interview. "We give them dresses, we make the dresses, but we don’t pay." He threw in this dig about the star. "A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?" he added. Streep's team has not yet responded to our request for comment.