Chloé’s asthetic has never been about formality. in fact the main focus of the brand has always been about creating fine, relaxed, feminine and beautifully made clothes- that are largely designed to be available off the rack. It’s always been a house that’s deeply rooted in the bohemian movement and, as such, has become renowned for releasing collections full of informal but fully fierce looks.
The Spring 2015 collection fits perfectly into this ideal, with head designer Clare Waight Keller’s pretty, light- hearted bohemian offering. It was also a perfect but sudden dedication to the life and work of a fashion great- Chloé’s founder Gaby Aghion, who passed away at the age of 93 on the day before the show (September 27th, 2014). Madame Aghion was a decades long trendsetter and very much a feminist- hearted free- spirit. She equated her femininity with power, and used this to change the norms of fashion. Gaby Aghion basically invented prêt-à-porter by establishing a design house that focused on creating readily available (off the rack) luxury goods rather than couture…that from the start, was geared toward attracting a younger, trend conscious customer. She was an innovator and a fire-starter and was the force that grew the house of Chloé into all that it is today.
That’s why it’s so fitting that Ms. Waight Keller produced a collection that’s so youthful and laid-back, beautiful and feminine, but with a definite hard edge in the design that carried throughout. Spring 2015 brings an offering that’s pretty yet precise, elegant but not excessive, practical rather than pouty and thoroughly luxurious. Its a collection for all us ‘it’ girls and I can’t get enough!
The focus was on the fabrics, particularly ones that (in Ms. Maight Keller’s words) could be used to produce “honest, direct shapes.” Hence the use of breezy multi-functional textiles like crepon georgette, cheesecloth, lace, denim and suede. This resulted in great silhouettes that concentrate on proportions and emphasize the quality of the fabrics and the workmanship that went into each piece. Tailoring was light and mainly done by way of manipulating shapes with precise lace paneling and brass-ring detailing.
Silhouettes were very light and floaty from the start, with an opening selection of spaghetti-strapped baby doll dresses seamed with frothy lace. Billowing peasant tops, gypsy skirts and soft suede coats came next, along with gorgeous goddess gowns with tiny cutouts and waistlines woven around metal rings. There were also quite a few denim and knit pieces to be seen in the lineup- cute high-waisted shorts, floor-length button-front skirts, boiler suits, hooded capes, mini skirts, button-down shirts and outsized jackets.
Without a doubt, the real showstoppers were a series of billowy silk gowns suspended from thin straps and structural necklines, that floated down the catwalk with the ease and comfort of luxurious nightgowns (FAB). Add in some fabulous wedged gladiator sandals and gorgeously easy runway styling, and you get a spot-on showcase of the edgy, laid back aesthetic that Chloé is famous for.
This collection was stunning in both it’s simplicity and it’s unique luxury. It’s easy to imagine many of these pieces making it into the vacation suitcase of any party girl with a bohemian streak. These outfits are made for slower paced days, balmy summer evenings hottt summer nights.
It’s a lovely tribute to Gaby Aghion, and I can’t help but think that she’d be pleased with it.
From all us fashion lovers, Rest in Peace Madame Aghion. Yours was truly a life well and fully lived.