Two years and one dismissed designer after Phoebe Philo’s departure, Chloé has yet to recapture her energy. Enter Hannah MacGibbon, Philo’s former assistant and the house’s original choice to replace her, who is now subject to great expectations, particularly in this less-than-balmy economic climate. MacGibbon certainly didn’t shy away from the task, but approached it with a fun, upbeat and Seventies-Eighties attitude that shone through in the clothes. She honed in on Chloé’s signature girlish naïveté in daywear done up with scalloped details, sweetheart necks, bows and broderie anglaise. It was sweet on apron dresses and crisscross ruffle tops, but MacGibbon tempered it with tailoring and sportif, which worked well together on a green camper top and scalloped-lapel blazer. Bronze lamé added a little sizzle to the girly fare.
Still, it came with a few problems, mainly a mundane palette and some cumbersome cuts. Paper-bag shapes that bunched and scrunched at the waist and hips did nothing for the reedy models, and they won’t fare well in the real world. What the collection lacked was a little finesse, which MacGibbon should find once she settles in.