When I think of Chloé, I think of peach. I think of the peachy skin of Clémence Poésy; the peachy life of Kate Moss; the peachy hue of a broderie anglaise-trimmed dress. Peach isn’t Chloé's only signature color, but it’s the one I align with it most closely. It’s the color of optimism, but also of femininity.
But then, its founder is both feminine and feminist. Gaby Aghion, now 91 years old, launched Chloé in 1952 into a fashion landscape that offered few choices for women, and even fewer that weren’t stiff and joyless. Seeing a gaping hole between the rigidity of haute couture and the fashions of the street, Aghion set about bridging it. “I thought it was a space in which a cosmopolitan, youthful style could develop: well-made clothes that increased movement rather than restricting it, designed to instil a sense of joyful independence,” she says.
Predictably, the first retailers to embrace Chloé were the avant- garde ones around St-Germain-des-Prés, “where elegant
Parisiennes and young sophisticates who led active lives found Chloé's off-beat, Left Bank look very appealing, fresh and modern”, says Aghion.
Chloé's founding principles have always had resonance, never more so than now, which makes Chloé Édition Anniversaire’s launch perfectly timed. The collection honors the brand’s 60th anniversary, comprising of a handpicked edit of 16 “Chloé Classics” from the archives. And what archives they are. Perhaps you were too young to be able to afford the high-waisted jeans or iconic Silverado bag designed by Phoebe Philo during her tenure at the house: now is your chance. Maybe you weren’t born in 1965 when Karl Lagerfeld was in command, producing standout pieces such as the Violin dress: it’s now being reissued. And while Stella McCartney has long moved away from her, “Let’s put a pineapple on a T-shirt” phase, the infamous one she designed in her four-year term is available as part of the limited-edition collection.
“I’ve always loved the Chloé ATTITUDE – it’s very much about freedom of EXPRESSION”
CLARE WAIGHT KELLER
This Week's Magazine