Chloé may be celebrating her 45th birthday, but she looks about 27 with London girl Phoebe Philo in charge. Philo projects her own mixed-up vintage-meets-sexy-streetwear look onto the clothes, which is fine as long as she polishes things up to the Paris mark. Never one to wax philosophical about the fun of getting dressed, the designer uttered nothing more about the collection than: "What can I say? It was a little bit of everything I love doing thrown in there."
Thrown in there was exactly right. What Philo appears to be loving right now included cascading ruffly chiffon, Zandra Rhodes-style; Alaïa-ish short black flounce skirts; bad-taste eighties animal-print poncho dresses; thick, orange woolly tights; and suede thigh boots. That's not to say that she didn't send plenty of the house classics down the runway, too. There were soft frocks (the staple on which Chloé built its reputation in the sixties and seventies), in a poppy print with a tie-back waistline, and a flippy two-tiered skirt. The classic girl-about-town navy coat came styled with a hoodie underneath, and jeans (unseen here since Stella McCartney moved on) made a comeback, skintight and with poppies appliquéd to the derriere and other strategic spots. A military shirt sleekly tucked into well-cut matching pants inspired a round of applause.
What was missing , though, was the coherence of Philo's first few outings at Chloé. There was no graspable theme, as in Brigitte Bardot in Saint-Tropez and Keith Richards at Altamont of earlier seasons. It's not that fashion needs a narrative to be interesting, but a strand of identifying, connecting thought is what helps lift things above the level of nice clothes on a rack.