Of all the big French fashion houses, Chloé
is perhaps the most humane. The core of the brand's identity, after all, is ease and joie de vivre. So there was a nice fit in Clare Waight Keller's take on Le Corbusier in this collection. A visit to the Villa Savoye in Poissy prompted Waight Keller to contemplate not only its aesthetics, but also the dynamic relationship between those aesthetics and the actual living done inside and outside of the house. With that in mind, she blended Le Corbusier's graphic exteriors with fluid shapes and sensual tactility. The long, flowing wrap skirts will find a lot of fans; ditto the slouchy tweed tops and duster-length coat with exaggerated lapels. Waight Keller was playing with proportion here, proposing lean, attenuated tops worn over loose skirts that drifted just above the ankle; she opened up the volume again at the sleeve. One particular dress, in blue silk, softened the look and made the proportion very convincing, as did the wrapped black-and-white top worn over a higher-hemmed skirt. The experiments with fringe, meanwhile, were less consistently successful. A white evening blouse with graphic bands of black eyelash fringe was chic; so too a long black sweater with hooped fringe about the collar. But the gypsy-fringed guipure dresses came off all frosting, no cake, and the floral jacquard embroidery, trimmed with eyelash fringe, that spread over a black gown was just kind of weird-looking, frankly. The weirdness seemed contrary to the collection's essential humaneness, which was demonstrated in the best pieces here, with their feeling of movement and sense of hand.