Besides offering a more affordable yet still chic alternative to Chloe's main line, See by Chloé is currently on the forefront of a couple of trends this fashion month: online fashion shows and Paris' increasing acceptance of designers' second lines. (Suzy Menkes wrote in today's International Herald Tribune about a new "parallel fashion universe" being created with secondary lines offering more accessible French fashion.)
See by Chloé, which launched 10 years ago while Stella McCartney was still designing the main line, is now in the midst of a bit of a revamp, hence this online runway show--a deviation for the brand, who have previously never formally shown. A recent press release about the brand mentioned new creative direction and Menkes also slipped in the fact that Chloe has refocused the collection with a new "designer rather than a team in charge," but, strangely, not even Menkes can get anyone to divulge the designer's name.
Whoever it is seems poised to take See by Chloé into the new "universe" of accessible French labels that run parallel, rather than second-place-to, luxury ready-to-wear labels. The fall 2012 collection, which debuted this morning both through KCD's Digital Fashion Shows and on Chloe.com, is exactly what See by Chloé should be: a fun, girly, wearable collection that also captures the chic Parisian energy of Chloé proper and can go head-to-head with labels like Étoile Isabel Marant, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Vanessa Bruno Athé and Carven, which, while not a diffusion line, occupies a comparable price range.
While the jersey pieces may have been a bit too commercial for our taste, we loved the flowy tie-waist chiffon dresses, strong blazers, a surprisingly chic corduroy suit and great calfskin and suede pointy ankle boots. It's all pretty and effortlessly chic without being too precious. Click through to see the full collection.