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Chloé Womenswear SS13

Clare Waight Keller got the most out of looking back on sixty years of Chloé's history

PhotographyLea ColomboTextSusie Lau

The archive of a house can either weigh a designer down or inspire them to new heights. For Clare Waight Keller, who is now settled nicely into the house of Chloé, delving into the archives in tandem with the brand's 60th anniversary exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo has definitely done the latter. Rather than riffing off of any one specific design or picking out an archive piece to replicate, Waight Keller has instead looked to the founder Gaby Aghion (who was present at the show and seemingly delighted with what she saw) and a specific quote which was on the show notes: "I never explain anything. I live my life, and I live the life I love".

So much about what has made this pioneering ready-to-wear house so evocative through the years, is that it has channelled that free spirited girl that isn't too precious about her clothes. There's something almost undefinable about the Chloé attitude, which has been so ingrained into its designers, past and present. Therefore, likewise, Waight Keller's latest collection pushed lightness and ease into a cohesive message that mainly centered around how to inject a clean masculinity into an inherently girly ruffle. A lot of them came off looking incredibly crisp, sharp and precise because of fabrics like Japanese polyesters or cottons. The silhouette was mostly a boxy loose-sleeved affair, which was Waight Keller's own hand in interpreting the effortless Chloé spirit. An oversized foiled leaf print in rose gold was the only injection of print that looked well-placed and appropriately sparse. Sheer organza tops with solid white cotton banded hems often poked out from underneath the cropped T-shirts added movement to the proceedings. The tiered ruffled dresses at the end could so easily have ended up in clunky territory but Waight Keller seemed to intuitively embody Aghion's spirit for that final burst of airy femininity that left most in the audience wanting to be that Chloé girl.