PARIS–It’s former Pringle of Scotland designer Clare Waight Keller‘s second season as the creative director for Chloé and she told me designing her second collection for the house was “nerve-wracking the second time around because you know what’s coming…[but] intense and really enjoyable to work on.”
Could part of that “nerve-wracking” have to do with working in a city where industry rumors, rumors about designers being replaced at big fashion houses, are a dime a dozen? “The gossip is on a whole different level here,” Waight Keller said. “It feels different–you know people at different houses but you’re in your own world as well.”
Good thing. Because Waight Keller’s vision for Chloé is beginning to take shape–and it’s all about her own world. A Brit who recently relocated to Paris, Keller brought her blended style to her fall collection: The attitude and relaxed dressing of the British festival girl mixed with the prettiness and luxe-ness of the Parisian jeune fille. “The tension between the two styles is something that’s really strong,” she said, admitting that she’s changed the way she dresses now that’s she’s living in Paris wearing “pretty things” but never being too “dressed up and strict.” When we chatted with her post-show she was wearing a henley and skinny sweatpants and a navy blazer and, trust us, it looked really cute.
For Chloe this season, that tension between British and Parisian style manifested itself in really outstanding outerwear. I know it’s usually all about the bags with Chloe, but these coats are awesome: sporty slightly oversized parkas, duffel coats, boxy bombers, dress coats, all done in an unexpected pastel palette on felted wool. If the coats were a nod to Brit ‘tude and comfy festival style, the Parisian “pretty” came by way of feminine lace and silk blouses tucked into elastic-waist skirts that sat low at the hips. The only thing not pretty? Those awkward trash-bag-ish long shorts with elastic hems that came to the knee. Best cover them up with one of those fantastic coats.