PFW: CHLOE` F/W 2014

There are times while watching this afternoon’s Chloe presentation that one might be tempted to yawn, or maybe even nod off a bit. After all, it is after lunch and a bit warm in the Grand Palais – Salon d’Honneur, and this wasn’t a show set in some apocalyptic future with space creatures coming down the catwalk; neither did it come with an expensive video presentation and loud, ear-pounding live music. We’ve seen so many of those over-produced shows that we’re rather tired of all the hype. This, however, is Chloe` as created by Clare Waight Keller and the show is exactly like the clothes: peaceful, quiet, unassuming, and approachable.

As with any Chloe collection, Keller’s vision for fall/winter is understated and comfortable. There are no sequins, no extensive bead work, nor even any strangely-shaped construction that requires an instruction manual to wear. Keller’s silhouettes are sufficiently feminine, nicely shaped with gentle padding at the shoulders and occasionally belted at the waist, but fit loosely so that the fabric, which itself runs on the lighter side, has plenty of room to move without bunching or wrinkling. Hemlines, often layered as we’ve seen often this season, may run anywhere from just above the knee to mid-calf, just right for average day/office wear. Coats are sufficiently full and generally cut along straighter lines, but not beyond the point where they invoke unnecessary bulk.

Going counter to seasonal trends, this Chloe collection comes with a very light, but not too bright, color palette. Every color possibly associated to brown seems to be well represented, and the winter white is the perfect shade to not reflect too brightly in the snow. Sure, there are some black and navy blue pieces tossed in, but they feel more like accompaniment rather than melody. Print patterns, with an obvious exception at the end, are small and neat with plenty of wavy lines and tiny geometric patterns. Keller occasionally uses a lace cutout in an interesting shape that might be a flower … or an amoeba, but still manages to flow well enough with the garment to simply be a nice accent rather than a feature point.

Chloe is delightfully stylish without being full of jack-in-the-box surprises around every corner. There’s even one dress that looks suspiciously similar to one in Vivienne Westwood’s collection, but it’s tailored and styled in such a way as to almost pass without notice. Clare Waight Keller is a beautifully quiet and unassuming person and her clothes are filled with her own DNA. No big splash or loud parade is necessary. Just enjoy the clothes.

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