Chloé A/W 2017

Chloé A/W 2017

Clare Waight Keller takes her final turn as the house’s creative director – and doesn’t disappoint

Moodboard: It was an emotional morning for Chloé fans as they made their way into the Salon d’honneur in the Grand Palais. After all, this was Clare Waight Keller’s last collection for the brand, which made us wonder whether the British designer would go all out and feel freer than ever in her work. She didn’t disappoint: the show was a rehash of her best pieces, more 1990s slouchy jumpsuit than 70s Glamazon, more minidress than boho numbers. The hippie aura was still there though, through an oversized tan shearling coat, a couple of long lace dresses and the models’ hair, as usual flowing free; but it was more Carnaby Street than Venice Beach. Which really suited the Chloé girl. Who would have thunk it?

Best in show: It was all about the minidress. Most of the time paired with little Mary Janes and the bags that have become a best-seller for the maison, worn with a nonchalance. They came in red velvet (with a heart cutout in the front, obvious ’it girl’ material); in peacock green and purple chiffon with cutouts and lace details; in black crepe with puffed white sleeves and claudine necklines; in printed black gabardine. At times it was almost reminiscent of Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent – but then, the two designers always had their love of music in common.

Team work: As usual, Waight Keller worked with sound designer Michel Gaubert, who handpicked a selection of 80s British tunes, all synthesizers and New Romantic undertones. It was a fitting counterpoint to the 60s-inspired collection. The soundtrack got particularly on-point towards the end of the show, when models strutted to the Human League’s ’Don’t You Want Me’ for the finale, before Waight Keller made her appearance on the catwalk, waving to the words ’But now I think it’s time I live my life on my own, I guess that’s just what I must do’. It was Gaubert’s homage to the designer, who was greeted one last time with a standing ovation – and even some tear-filled eyes.

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