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Chloé Fall 2024: boho chic is BACK FOR GOOD!

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Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo and Claie Waight Keller’s legacy is alive! I now only want to wear ruffles, wedges, and carry a Drew, a Marcie and a Paddington bag!

In her debut, Chimena Kamali revived the iconic Chloé Girl, and you have no idea what that does mean to me (and Sienna Miller :)…

Could there be a better, more qualified person to appoint at Chloé than Chemena Kamali? The energy she brought to her debut show for the label—all boho ruffles, slick outerwear and tons of accessories—was testament to the fact that this, in fact, is the third time she’s been at the house. (Read Mark Holgate’s comprehensive Vogue interview with her.)

Kamali knows the history of the brand inside out, and indeed worked there as a Chloé-obsessed junior designer in the noughties, and then again under Clare Waight Keller. Nobody knows better than Kamali the spontaneous feeling of It-ness that belongs to the female-centric Chloé philosophy; a power recharged through so many generations since the house was founded in the 1950s by the Jewish- Egyptian emigré Gaby Aghion as an unstuffy ready-to-wear antidote to Parisian haute couture.

Fall was called the ‘Intuition’ collection. “You know, it’s how it makes you feel and how you want to feel,” said Kamali at a preview. “I think there’s this connection where today as a woman you need to be able to follow your intuition and be yourself. It’s very much about an intuitive way of dressing, about lightness, movement, fluidity and emotion. I also, love the power of nostalgia; where you go backwards, you go forwards—you also think of today and what women want to wear now.”

Kamali’s ‘homecoming’ show was deeply interconnected with Karl Lagerfeld’s 1970s, since she shares his German-in-Paris identity. Look three, a brilliant white caped scalloped-edged blouse, knotted in front, with a pair of cool black hipster boot-cut flares and kitten-heel clogs almost read as her top-to-toe design manifesto. “We did that with a true dedication, an homage to the late ’70s Karl years, especially those between 1977 and 1979,” she revealed. “In 1977, he did this collection with re-embroidered lace and broderie anglaise—his ‘Musketeers’ collection.”

There were at least two people in the audience who’d have got that reference- Jerry Hall and Pat Cleveland, who modeled for Lagerfeld in the ’80s, and who were in the front row loudly sharing their reminiscences of shoots and parties with their respective daughters Georgia May Jagger and Anna Cleveland. Further along from them were Sienna Miller in one direction and Alexa Chung in the other—two British It-Girls of the early 2000s who summed up the fizzing femininity of the Phoebe Philo Chloé years, platform clogs, sexy denims, lingerie dresses and all.

Kamali had reinterpreted the essence of the Karl years and given it a smart ‘now’ spin, playing with the transparency of lace and oceans of rippling semi sheer mousseline. The chiffon maxi dresses (sometimes you couldn’t tell if they were capes or dresses; maybe both) had matching cami-shorts beneath. They strode out on thigh-high swashbuckling boots with a high-energy attitude—owning the ‘naked’ trend in a female way without flashing too much flesh.

As a brand, Chloe is a balancing act between the romantic, the practical and the playful. You got the feeling that Kamali, a deeply experienced luxury fashion professional (she also spent time at Saint Laurent), really understands how to orchestrate all of those elements. She’d drawn on Karl Lagerfeld-era maxi coats and swirling capes (she discovered he did dozens of interpretations over the years), on the bracelet-bags and platform sandals of the Phoebe Philo years, and the bananas and pineapples (redone as gilt jewelry) that Stella McCartney played around with.

It flowed naturally, not like a designer dutifully ticking boxes for a house entrance exam. And that’s just the point about Chloé: to bring women along with it, it needs to feel like it flows naturally. That’s the mission Kamali’s set herself. “You can make of it what you will,” she said, smiling. “We need to be able to dare to be ourselves.”

Text: Sarah Mower via VOGUE.COM

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