With the third day of Paris Fashion Week going on, we get an eyeful of the Chloé fall/winter 2016-2017 RTW collection unveiled just a few hours ago and once again possessing all the prerequisites to voodoo the most incurable fashion-addicts among us. Seizing the British-born Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller’s vision over French beauty is no rocket science. It is as easy as pie – a free-spirited girl who is fluttering and flittering all the while through space and time, always full of vim and vigor and a far cry from homebody.
What is really hard-won about Keller’s philosophy of beauty is to have the very traits of character of such a ball-of-fire girl. And those traits are ordinarily not acquired, but inborn and connate. To take the 64-year-old prestigious French fashion house Chloé under her wings and herewith not to go down the tubes even a minute but on the contrary to prosper it season after season is something really incredible and awe-inspiring.
The cold seasons again found Keller riding high and lofty in a frantic quest for such a strong and independent woman. The quests were a success as always endowing the new collection with the appellation ‘Et j’ai suivi le vent’ (And I followed the wind), which is the title of the biography book by the French journalist Anne-France Dautheville, who was the first woman to ride solo round-the-world.
Everything started in 1972 when she decided to participate in the ‘Orion Raid’ from France to Iran using a Moto-Guzzi 750 to ride. Later on, in 1973, she was so much obsessed with the solo voyage idea that set off on a round-the-world journey all alone riding a Kawasaki 125 and covering 12,500 miles (20,000 km) on three continents. Here is the kind of woman that has inspired Clare Waight Keller immensely, a woman who is always chasing all her fears and collecting wonderful moments.
This all explains well enough the Chloe fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection absolutely void of any clingy or form-fitting pieces and instead running over with flaring and streamy hems, nomadic silhouettes and oversized comfort, tasseled tapestry knits as both Clare Waight Keller’s forte and utmost coziness providers and, of course, tons of biker cuts and motocross detailing as a reference to Anne-France Dautheville’s riding vehicle. The capes, shearlings or fleeces were so massive and in parachute volumes that were at times entirely hiding the models’ hands. But one of the coats was especially riveting not only in terms of volume but also in the rainbow palette, as if iridescent threads were all mixed with each other.
Leather biker jackets and pants with cropped cuffs either in saffron or tan shades were really impressive and tomboyish in some cool twist to them, but it was the carmine ones that were playing for high stakes. That badass leather pantsuit demonstrating motocross stripes in black, carmine and yellow mix had wholly persuaded us to leave everything behind and hotfoot it to a crazy voyage. But there was also a carmine midi skirt with a centre slit that could be worn in everyday life yet driving at the inmost recesses of your soul being full of adventures and spontaneous actions.
Shirred chiffon and impalpable lace were playing with all their colors and with all their vibes of levity and freedom. We loved to bits those peasant dresses rife with ruffles and with strong addiction to follow the wind. A featherweight lilac dress was sporting a harmonious symbiosis of lace and chiffon, and the same could be said about that sky blue one with bell sleeves, while that saffron dress with ruffles galore was in of itself a desert wind materialized. The chiffon-lace beachcomber skirts were generally matched with oversized knitted sweaters, while chiffon romantic shirts were looking extremely off-the-wall in combination with leather culottes.
Technicolor inkblot prints and other handcrafted details in multiple shades were suggestive of wonderful nature; the headscarves tied around the models’ necks were overt barometers of romanticism and if you still need some more reinforcement of travelling spirit, come and get them hanging from the models’ shoulders under the guise of leather satchels.
Photos couretsy of Vogue