Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller has only been with the house for two years, yet she has slipped so easily into the role that the collections have truly progressed naturally. At first, she kept close to the house’s heritage, referencing the work of Karl Lagerfeld in the 1970s, but slowly adding in sporty elements that spoke to her tomboy style. (Duffle coats, pleating and the house’s signature scalloped hems have all helped define her early tenure.) But this season, something changed. The clothes still looked like Chloé, but they looked like Waight Keller, too.
“I think my signatures are coming through—a boyishness, a sensuality,” the designer said after the show. “I want it to become more and more modern each season.”
Giant gold discs hung from the ceiling of the Gustave Eiffel-Lycée Carnot, a high school in the 17th arrondissement, to give the models’ skin a summer glow. Waight Keller’s goal was to create clothes that would float in the driest, hottest of midsummer heat. She did that by choosing the palette of the desert–khaki, sand, blue and white–and showing a series of micro-pleated dresses that stood away from the skin. The creation of those tiny, almost-crinkled pleats was a two-stage process—the fabric had to be pleated, and then pleated once more. “I was working on getting those pleats right for two months!” she said. Those desert colors reinforced the idea that these clothes were meant to be worn in the heat.
To give all that languidness a boyish edge, chiffon tops were worn with knee-length shorts, and the house’s signature Broderie Anglaise were done in geometric shapes instead of florals.
While the collection lived up to Waight Keller’s intentions, another show of modernity was in the house’s approach to live streaming the runway. Live.Chloe.com was designed to be a 360-degree experience, capturing everything from backstage beauty to red carpet entrances. “Digital is hugely important to us,” the designer said. “I wanted to bring the experience to a bigger audience.”