In a normal season, we expect a touch of bohemia in Claire Waight Kellar’s Chloé collection. Kellar pared back the bohemian spirit a little bit this morning, though, in favor of a look that is lighter, perhaps a bit more effortless, and definitely more pleated. There’s a little more sensibility to the full cuts, a little more polish around the trim, and a more refined look that speaks to a sense of luxury.
The house PR team keeps using the word “innocence” to describe the collection and I suppose I can see where that might be accurate in a few pieces. The soft, floral print cropped top, the delicate lingerie stylings, and the blue floral romper come to mind. At the same time, though, there is a gentle maturity in the white cotton tops and the mermaid skirts. Pleated chiffon is more for grown-ups, isn’t it?
Kellar’s choice of fabrics is perfect for summer. Light cottons, chiffon, and knitted yarn pieces are perfect for the hottest of summer days. Pay special attention to the unique designs and artistry in the knit pieces, especially. While knitted and crocheted looks are not unusual for this brand, Kellar has upped the game with a more polished type of knit, one that gives the garments a higher sense of quality and speaks to a slightly more mature woman. Look closely and see also some very detailed embroidery and applique work. A lot of effort has gone into these pieces.
Three particularly unique touches caught my eye. One is the envelope knot Kellar frequently employs on sleeves and at the shoulders. This is a loose, inherently informal knot that in some sense feels more like a fold than a tie. These help keep a sense of looseness and free spirit to the pieces. In a couple of other places, though, Kellar uses thick cotton cord in the place of straps. The effect keeps the pleated dresses to which they are attached from feeling too formal, a tone that Chloé seems to actively avoid. Finally, the jewelry details, especially the personalized charms, are important if one is wanting to keep that younger, more “innocent” look going.
I look through this collection and I see a gentle turn for Chloé, one that is just a little more mature, but perhaps not too much. One comment overheard this morning, made in reference to a pair of white pants with lots of buttons, was that as lovely as the slacks are, they didn’t quite fit the speaker’s “mommy lifestyle.” Granted, these fabrics are far too delicate to be in the same room with a child who has possibly been finger painting with peanut butter. Still, most of these looks speak to a young woman who has passed the party phase of her life and is taking things a little more seriously. In fact, one will have to take everything seriously in order to afford anything from this collection.
The clothes are beautiful, flowing, and easy to wear. One is going to look wonderful in most any of these ensembles. Maybe leaving bohemia behind a bit isn’t really a bad thing.