Chloé is celebrating a big birthday during Paris fashion week. It is 60 years young. That everlasting youthful, girlish energy of the house, that you take away from the informative and fun retrospective exhibition on the brand that opened at the Palais de Tokyo earlier this week.
Called Chloé Attitudes, the exhibit focus more on the brand’s young at heart outlook on life rather than a straight-up chronological display of the history of a house. One that started with founder Gaby Aghion and has been the home to marquee name designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo.
Maybe it was looking though the archives along with the exhibit’s curator Judith Clark that gave the current designer at Chloe, Clare Waight Keller, the confidence to fully embrace the nonchalant side of the brand this season. To be fair, the self-assured attitude of this collection, only the third the designer has created for the label, has been building up over the past couple of seasons. Waight Keller has been determinedly creating new codes for the house, like her continued exploration of volume, a love of wide trousers and always some amazing knitwear. That last code coming thanks to the designer’s years of working at the knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland.
This season it all came together for Waight Keller. The collection had a sporty and feminine freshness that, although voluminous, never looked heavy or bulky. The designer’s interesting take on layering saw see-through organza shirts- edged with a rounded opaque strip- peeking out below cropped tops and square jackets. Making for a new silhouette that looked modern and wearable with just the right amount of originality. Bermuda shorts and sweet ruffled dresses, both with and without a sprinkle of sparkling sequined bands, were winners. As was the new Art- Deco inspired Amelia shoulder bag, which looked both practical and stylish. And one particular top, that had the wide sleeves sliced horizontally in two and then reaffixed to the garment via bows, was a quite showstopper.
Waight Keller has honed in and gotten a lock on who the new Chloe woman is. She is an independent lady who enjoys life and wants to feel feminine in her frocks, just not girly or overly romantic; because nothing is more enticing that a self assured woman.
- Jessica Michault