October 10, 2003 Paris
So picture a time when French mags showed endless sunny, energetic spreads of models skipping about, laughing in accessible ready-to-wear. When wide-legged bottom-hugging trousers and jeans were cut up to the waist, wedges were in, and cheap-chic fluorescent jelly sandals were paired with short shorts, sporty striped rugby shirts, washed cotton overalls, and sloppy rolled-up work pants.
Philo recaptured a lot of that feeling quite literally, in what looked like a natural reconfiguring of her knack for sexy designer denim. She also worked in the dressy, Frenchified eyelet and lace that has underpinned the label since the sixties, along with Fiorucci-era jokey banana prints for off-the-shoulder tees and swimsuits. The shoeswhich under Philo's tenure have become a house moneymakerwere a cool composite of Lucite wedge, slivers of silver leather, and macramé toe strap.
At the end, Phoebe herself made a runway turn for photographers in Chloé jeans and a gauzy blue topa far cry from her usual brief, cool, self-deprecating, British wave. Perhaps that's a sign of her growth in confidence, but it also gave Chloé's worldwide fans their first opportunity to get a good look at the personality who drives the brand. Cute move.