Clare Waight Keller is the woman responsible for transforming heritage labels into a contemporary fashion brand, she was doing in 2005 for Pringle of Scotland. In May 2011, she was named creative director of Chloé replacing Hannah MacGibbon. "I am thrilled to be joining one of the most prestigious design houses in Paris," said Clare Waight "Chloé is a brand that conveys a beautiful sense of effortless femininity and vivacious sophistication that I look forward to continuing into the next era."
Chloé has embraced female designers since Stella McCartney took over from Karl Lagerfeld in the late 1990s with her then assistant Phoebe Philo taking the reins in 2001, followed by Hannah McGibbon seven years later. And it’s a formula that has worked well.
"It’s about a poetic and charming way of putting things together, flirting with innocence from a place of strength,’ said the creative director in her show notes. And you could see she was coming at it from a much stronger and more confident place this season. She also talked about combining ‘French sophistication with an English festival’ spirit, such was the luxeness of those great quilted parkas in ‘Chloe pink’, the looks were serene in the house's signature soft palette of shades - there was lemon and sand, eggshell blue and nectarine , tempered with classic camel and a dash of letterbox red.
There were plenty of strong pieces that came after the sophisticated oversized parkas in pastel pink and blue that opened the show, namely sporty cuffed pants in deep rust wool, great knitwear in patchworked cable-knit or intarsia lace, a pair of slouchy black boyfriend trousers, the loose rust drop-waist dress, to match the easy and breezy attitude of the Chloé girl. Evening looks, magnified off-white lace provides the foundation for a pearl-scattered story with appliqué lace flowers. The new T-shirt is in fine lace with satin sleeves, whilst a delicate combination of lace and silk refines the shirtdress.
Shoes ranged from rounded pumps with slanted, cone heels and loose ankle straps in glazed leather and lizard, to evening sandals with oversized pearls. Chloé’s three-in-one Lucy bag in quilted leather and crocodile with a chain strap and the oversized pochette are key new shapes.