March 03, 2006 Paris
It would be exaggerating to call it definitively uglythough a pair of giant overalls and saggy-backed, folded-front turn-up pants were close calls. The trouble is more that Chloé, for so long a pacesetter of perfectly thrown-together personal style, has now inevitably decelerated into the league of followers. Without the instinctive drive of a strong designer, team-driven analysis tends to look outside, see what other people are doing, and come up with a general trend consensus. Thus, the contents of Chloé now have shades of Marc Jacobs' latest layerings (shorts over pants) and hints of Marni-cum-Yohji abstract shapes (loose-waisted, hopsacky things), while anxiously hanging on to last season's baby doll to keep up the label's continuity.
In this interim period, there will certainly be pieces to keep things ticking overthe little blouses and some pretty party dresses detailed with haphazard ripples of chiffon pleats. Looking ahead, it may be impossible to replicate the exact quality of casual cool that Philo brought to this label, because that belonged to her alone. But that's not to say another designer can't do something equally exciting in their own way. To keep Chloé cooking, that change needs to happen, and fast.