At today’s Chloé presentation, designer Clare Waight Keller chatted a while about the progress her children have been making in French. They speak it, she remarked, but a little shyly. The same might be said of Waight Keller’s approach to designing for Chloé. She brings an English sense of mix, and of matter-of-factness, to her work for the brand, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last season, and though she is a deft interpreter of that insouciant Chloé lightness, Waight Keller’s still most at home with fashion references from the other side of the Channel.
For this collection, Waight Keller drew on sixties mod for inspiration, and emphasized Carnaby Street shapes such as boyish cropped trousers and A-line dresses and skirts. Her French is getting more fluent, though: Alongside the uniformly strong trousers, the big winners here were looks with a distinctly French point of view, such as a flounced organza cocktail dress in a pale mint color that looked suitable for a remake of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and a whole range of pieces done in a vaguely bon chic, bon genre confetti tweed, as well as silks and knits that riffed on it. The shift-shaped silk shirtdresses, meanwhile, were shown smartly belted and came off as a throwaway take on vintage YSL—not a bad thing, by any means. Overall, this collection affirmed Waight Keller’s growing confidence at Chloé’s helm, and proffered a wide mix of nicely detailed pieces that women will want to wear.