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Chloé Womenswear S/S12

Creative Director Clare Waight Keller's debut collection offered festival dressing and a carefree spirit with easy breezy pleats and flashes of midriffs

It was always going to be intriguing to see what Chloe's new creative director Clare Waight Keller would bring to the Chloe table after what was a largely successful, if slightly hiccuping series of collections by Hannah MacGibbon. It felt like the muted and feminine trajectory of MacGibbon (save for her beloved ponchos and the last croc-filled collection) had continued on and Keller had picked up on the insouciant vibes that Chloe has come to be known for. She took inspiration from reality, from the festival girls of the streets and that translated into easy breezy pleats and plenty of them. They swung from sunray dresses, skirts, rang down billowing trousers and were inlaid into shirts and tops as marquetry in colours of dusky pink, rust and beige. Floral embroidery on blouses and down a pair of knee-length shorts broke up the colour blocked ease. With hands tucked into pockets and t-shirts cut low at the sides to expose flashes of torso, the spirit of festival wear did subtly kick its way into the collection along with the wide-strapped clutches that freshened up Chloe's bag lot. With so many plays on pronounced femininity this season, Keller's debut for Chloe will slot right in but it will be interesting to see how her signature will develop and whether she can steer a more directional ship in future collections.

Dazed Digital: What did you want to convey with this first collection for Chloe?
Clare Waight Keller: It was really inspiring to see how women put things together. Different women, different moods. It was about the spirit of the woman, the attitude and the femininity. Put it in the There's chiffon dresses with t-shirt layering and boy shorts underneath. There's hands in pockets. There's a sense of movement and ease. There's nothing structured and uptight but you still feel polished.

DD: What do you hope to achieve at Chloe?
Clare Waight Keller: I think it's about bringing something right for women. There are houses that do many different things but Chloe is about real girls wanting to wear real clothes. The clothes aren't wearing you, you're wearing the clothes. It's the mix of boyishness and beauty.

DD: Any references and specific girls you were looking at to get to this Chloe essence?
Clare Waight Keller:
 I looked at so much this summer. It was a real melange - Marie Helvin, festival girls, Angelica Huston, girls from blog sites - all of those put together bring an energy and spirit and that's what I tried to translate into the collection.