At a house like Chloe with a history that includes creative direction by Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo (who had wowed us all a couple of hours earlier with her latest Celine offering), the pressure is three-fold: give us new ideas; put your own stamp on the house; but let us recognise the Chloe identity we know.
Five seasons in, Claire Waight Keller displayed a confidence today that it’s hard not to go along with. Chiffon was more finely pleated than we’ve seen elsewhere – in khaki and tan, it referred to a trend but was given the Chloe treatment: long skirts cut in irregular panels for the pleats to fan every which way.
Trousers were loose and tied round the waist and ankle, or drawn into elastic at mid calf, under flowing shirt tails that had matching long, fluted cuffs. It’s soft without being girlish, and pulled together by tailored silk jackets which gave shape to all that fluidity.
There were great double-barrelled shoulder bags and wooden-heeled wedges that will fuel the bottom line that Waight Keller has already enlivened so successfully, while a touch of color came via mismatched ethnic blue and turquoise prints and one gorgeous loose pale green knit sparkled subtly in the knowledge that everyone will want one.
Pretty chiffon dresses that tied all the way down each arm made for a definite Chloe moment, but bold crochet dresses took the archival references slightly too far and looked less than easy to wear amid all the casual cool around them, while delicate gold embellishment on nude silk all-in-ones had just the right balance of confident femininity and easy chic.
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