has become the go-to place for a certain girl’s wardrobe, for something polished with punch. An English, boyish discipline added to the French finesse of the house has been in the ascendant. But today the concentration moved more toward the French side, and the more overtly feminine feel of a certain kind of French style. The music might have been loud drum and bass, with all of its hard, mid-nineties London connotations, but this collection felt decidedly rooted in Paris.
“A girl more sensual than before” is how Clare Waight Keller, the creative director of Chloé, defined the muse of her new collection. Softening the boyish toughness she has introduced at the house while not completely eliminating it had been the goal, and she largely succeeded.
Waight Keller seemed primarily concerned with making her point through fabric choices: “A sense of sensuality through transparency,” she said before her show. And there were indeed great fabrics in the collection: super-matte georgette; a patchwork jacquard; light quilting; a rough, more geometric lace. They all added to a certain sense of tough sensuality for the season, as did the more angular silhouettes.
Yes, tight accordion pleats were in evidence in this collection, too. This is the season of the Pleats, Please revival—after it had been Pleats, No Thanks for years. But the Chloé pleated garments were some of the best around. Among the strongest pieces were the tapered-leg khaki trousers with ankle ties, the khaki dress defined by Waight Keller as “flag shaped” with a deep V,
and the inset pleats featured in a blue patterned dress, giving a dynamic effect. And the most sensual garment of the collection was pleated, too—a white dress with arm ties, split high at the sides, worn with silk cami-knicker-style shorts. Clare Waight Keller has not produced anything quite that sexy before.
If this collection didn’t quite reach the heights of last season, it really shined in its more boyish and playful moments, such as in the final inset-chain pieces. Overall, it was another accomplished offering at the house, and Chloé’s consistency is no mean feat.