Hair balloons made by Bob Racine, Pat Cleveland swanning about in vintage, giant communal mounds of cotton candy, Chloe Sevigny in a dress with a gold sequined violin on it: All things seen at last week’s cocktail party at Barneys in celebration of Chloé’s 60th anniversary and the launch of the label’s Chloé Edition Anniversaire collection.
We checked in with Chloé’s new-ish designer Clare Waight Keller, who seems to be on something of a roll lately. After a promising start, her second collection for the label won rave reviews and her latest had us swooning over those coats.
While most labels (Chloé included) churn out bags and shoes to keep cash registers ca-ching-ing we have a feeling Waight Keller’s coats will have the same effect.
Fashionista: So, the thing that we’re all talking about after the last few shows is the coats. How do you make these perfect coats? What do you think about?
Clare Waight Keller: I guess for me Chloé has always been that kind of brand that’s been about a lot of feminine pieces. And I think it’s not really about tailoring the brand. So for me the statement piece then is the coat. It comes, I guess, from my own personal history having worked in menswear. The coat is really something that often make quite dramatic statements for the silhouette. So it’s kind of become my thing for Chloé… my mark.
It’s a good mark, I think. When we last talked after your first show for Chloé we spoke about being in Paris which is the hub of gossip for the industry. So how have you been faring in there? It hasn’t gotten any less gossipy…
[Laughs] No, it has not. If anything there’s just been so much more going on since I arrived. I feel like Paris is really the hub of all of the movements and shake-ups. And it’s something that, yes, you do hear, of course, because it’s such a small community in Paris. But it’s kind of fun, you know. It’s nice, actually, because you learn a lot about houses and why people talk about them and it’s interesting to be a part of that.
And lastly, I really didn’t know what Chloé’s heritage looked like until I saw the retrospective last season. And there’s so much quirkiness–like the dress that Chloë Sevigny’s wearing tonight. How do you, if at all, factor that into your designs for the house?
I think what I’ve been trying to do this season is bring in a little bit of the quirkiness but less in an, I guess, obvious way. So like last Spring/Summer it was the flashy embroidery down the sides of tuxedo pieces. And I think it’s just playing with it in subtle ways that feel right for now.
Whatever Waight Keller is doing, it feels very right for now. We’re saving up for a coat.
Click through to see images from the party.