PARIS — Chloé will celebrate its 60th birthday this fall with a Paris exhibition and party that will dovetail with creative director Clare Waight Keller’s third runway show for the brand on Oct. 1.
Lifting the veil on its plans for the milestone, the Paris house said it is also plotting a capsule collection of reedition styles, a new-look Paris flagship and a Rizzoli tome — rounding out festivities that will run into 2013.
The exhibition, yet to be titled, is to open on Sept. 28 at Palais de Tokyo, the newly expanded contemporary art space located near Trocadéro, and run to Nov. 20.
Curated by Judith Clark in collaboration with Waight Keller, the expo is meant to “translate the unique spirit of the brand,” said Chloé chief executive officer Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye. “The heritage of Chloé is its youth….[Clark] understands the idiosyncracies of the house.”
Some 70 designs are to go on display, 16 of which will be reedited and sold next spring in Chloé flagships and select wholesale accounts. The items include clothing and accessories from a multitude of Chloé’s past designers, from founder Gaby Aghion and her immediate successor Karl Lagerfeld to more recent keepers of the flame: Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo.
A digital version of the exhibition is slated to run either concurrent or consecutive to the Palais de Tokyo showcase, de la Bourdonnaye noted.
Clark has mounted many exhibitions for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and recently won notice for the Diana Vreeland expo currently on at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice.
Rather than a chronological retrospective, the Chloé exhibition is “really a collage of ideas,” said Waight Keller, lauding the contrast between Palais de Tokyo’s vast, “brutalist” spaces and Chloé’s feminine designs.
“You sense a different woman through the different eras, but she’s always had a Chloé spirit to her,” she added.
That includes a few saucy moments in the Seventies. Among Waight Keller’s discoveries in trawling through the archive of clothes and images was a Helmut Newton photo of Paloma Picasso wearing a Chloé dress with her breast exposed. This represents the “confident, powerful” side of Chloé, she noted.
Yet real-life dressing is the main message. “This is not an archive of ballgowns. This is an archive of women’s wardrobes through the eras,” the designer said.
Waight Keller said the backward glance would help feed her next runway collection, which she hinted would have a distinctly “French” sensibility.
The anniversary festivities extend to retail, and in November, a 4,300-square-foot Chloé flagship is to open on Rue Saint-Honoré next to the Mandarin Oriental hotel, boasting a new concept by architect Joseph Dirand.
The large-format coffee-table book — with words by British journalist Sarah Mower and artistic direction by Mark Ascoli — is slated for release in fall 2013.
De la Bourdonnaye was upbeat about Chloé’s business momentum, but declined to discuss figures as parent Compagnie Financière Richemont — which also owns Cartier, Dunhill, Lancel and other brands — does not give such breakdowns. However, he noted that Chloé “was part of Richemont’s record year” and it would continue its retail expansion, opening at least 20 stores this fiscal year, including in SoHo in New York City, Las Vegas and several locations in China.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast