Gaby Aghion founded Chloé in 1952 with a vision to defy the formal haute couture of the time with alluring, feminine clothes made of fine fabrics that required few alterations. Clare Waight Keller could not have known that Aghion would pass away a day before Chloé’s spring show, but the collection beautifully epitomized the founder’s original maxim. Backstage, Keller said her focus was on fabrics that tell a story, “laces that had flowers and birds, and the idea of utilitarian cotton and denim that, as you wear it, it ages and starts to tell the story of your life.”
To open the show, she chose a trio of gauzy maiden minidresses, barely constructed from crafty lace and linen suspended from the skinniest spaghetti straps. That idea progressed into billowing chiffon goddess gowns done in powdery pastels, navy and terra-cotta, some worked with lace. These nodded at the house’s Lagerfeld era. They grazed the body in a soft expression of feminine freedom — fragile though they looked, a dress dependent on the strength of a shoestring requires acute confidence.
Keller did not leave the other side of the Chloé axiom of free-spirited sportiness unaddressed. Sturdy, workwear-inspired denim and utility gear came in fresh concepts, with the label’s classic high-waisted jeans revamped as shorts, a miniskirt and a maxiskirt, all with utility pockets on the hips. There was even a denim sweat suit — a sweatshirt poncho and jogging pants. No alterations required.