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Monday Muse: Chlo©’s Festival Girl

Chlo© Fall 2015

The soundtrack was Fleetwod Mac. Rumors, to be exact, so it came as no surprise that the looks that walked the Chlo© runway would be perfect for Stevie and her legion of Laurel Canyon ladies. But the first looks didn’t quite gel with the music. Chlo©’s Clare Waight Keller went back to the brand’s bohemian roots, but not before taking the time to add a few new signatures to the house codes by veering into classic menswear tailoring with a romantic edge.

Chlo© Fall 2015

Before the boho looks came out, Keller showed floor-sweeping coats that had military roots, but being a mother — and a working one at that — she eschewed heavy weight wools and cashmeres for a compressed melton that looked rigid and luxe without any of the weight. And when the coats brushed the floor, they looked light as air, especially over models’ soft blouses and bow chokers. It was the perfect mix to precede the frocks and frippery that followed, but it was a welcome addition to Chlo©, which has built its reputation and its formidable fan base on breezy dresses and see-through confections.

Keller used those pieces to show that she does, indeed, have tailoring chops, but she’s also out to please the girls that flock to Chlo© for occasion dresses and a certain Parisian free spirit.

Think about the looks that are associated with festival wear: the crochet, the cheesecloth and the airy fabrics. All of that can be traced back to the heyday of Chlo©, when every Hollywood PYT had a Paddington bag and those chunky heel were waitlisted. While the Paddington might not be back, Keller resurrected that chunky heel, giving a whole new generation of girls something to covet. Consider this when you’re packing for Glastonbury and Coachella: a coat over a slip dress is Kate Moss through and through.

Stevie’s influence was seen in long black looks and a few lingerie-lace embellished pieces as well as those ribbony scarves that appeared on almost every look. So while the coats that opened the show moved the Chlo© vocabulary forward, Keller kept the delicate balance of heritage and forward thinking without missing a chunky heeled step. Other designers would be wise to strike the same balance, because this was a collection that is sure to give Chlo© girls one more reason to shop and a whole new group of fans entr©e into that special sisterhood.