CHLOE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
A new mood began at Chloé last season, with the most confident collection that creative director Clare Waight Keller had produced to date. The Chloé girl lost much of her pouty, superfluous French folderol: Despite her penchant for voluminous cheesecloth, she became precise, measured, and a much tougher creature—not the type to burst into tears if her boyfriend was caught flirting, say, with a Givenchy girl or even a Céline woman. Instead, this Chloé girl can now stand her ground among those other creations, and for Fall, both her and Waight Keller’s confidence increased.
Yes, admittedly she is a bit folksy, she does worship at the altar of Laurel Canyon, and she does have lovely hair—center parted, natch. But as the first model emerged today, to the sound of Fleetwood Mac—the predominant music of the show, the Rumours period—you couldn’t argue with her. Just as you cannot argue with Fleetwood Mac—as clichéd as some may think such a soundtrack is, there is simply something wrong with someone who does not like Fleetwood Mac. And Chloé is attempting this grand, widespread appeal too.
The first look was a floor-sweeping, tailored greatcoat in military melton wool, with a narrow, peaked shoulder—structured just so—tailored wool trousers; and a more feminine blouse. This rigorous masculine precision persisted in the tailoring throughout the collection. It balanced out all the flou and made the Chloé girl much more desirable and, dare it be said, actually sexual—something that is sometimes missing under all the layers of muslin and flirtatious girlishness at the label.
The feel was far more straightforward than before, without sacrificing femininity; Waight Keller just decided not to pander to many of the fantasy clichés of it. “To be modern, it has to be real,” said the designer after her show. “I really wanted to capture something confident, but still with a carefree spirit. I can only describe the Chloé girl as a ‘gentlewoman,’ wearing guardsmen’s coats and gentlemen’s clothing, but still with the flou and lingerie lace. There is something clean and narrow about her silhouette, but still with a fluidity to it.”
The Chloé girl is becoming much more the subject who does and takes charge, rather than the object who looks pretty and floaty. And as March 8 is International Women’s Day, it seems a welcome time for that empowerment.