30th September 2019

PFW – Chloé S/S2020

Chloé's understated sophistication bodes well for next summer

Natacha Ramsey-Levi has an eye that matches perfectly with the Chloé aesthetic – modern, clean and sophisticated with just the right amount of ‘twist’ at the edges to elevate collections to the level of major events.  Ramsey-Levi, like all designers, seeks to make her subjects look beautiful and feel confident, but for her it’s also about creating a non-verbal language to describe who the Chloé woman really is in her eyes.  To that end, the first noticeable thing about the new summer collection at Paris Fashion Week was the very deliberate colour palette.  There was a very earthy tone to the colours – from white through to muted tans, beiges and browns via occasional detours into blue/grey, oranges and the odd metallic colours.  It was the sort of summer palette for women confident enough to not have to wear shocking pinks and bright yellows for attention.

The tailoring exemplified this approach perfectly.  Pinstripe suiting in brown or blue/grey played with the conventions and opted for lapel-less jackets with sleeves gathered at the elbow to reveal contrasting blouse sleeves underneath.  The trousers were loose, pleated and casually turned up at the bottom to let you know they weren’t to be taken too seriously.  In fact, the option with the shorts, turned up at the hems, reinforced this sense of supremely relaxed style.  That sense was carried through to the dresses and skirts on offer – whether it was the exquisitely simple, virgin white, ankle length A-Line dress or the more intricate pinstriped wrap/shirt dress that offered a slightly more unusual silhouette for the eyes.  The floor-length tangerine dress was a triumph, with the soft bishop sleeves echoing the shapes made by the satisfying swing of the hem of the dress as the model walked.  Best of all, there were a number of variations on this particular look to spark the imagination.

Black, while not overwhelmingly present in the palette, did add a modicum of night-time ambience to some of the ensembles – like with the cute, slim collared jacket sporting four prominent button down pockets, or the striped knitted top featuring the bold proclamation, ‘By the Grace of Our Bodies’.  This contrasted with the browns and burnt oranges of the amazing denim jeans which were wide-legged, high-waisted, permanently seamed down the front and back, and overly generous with the turn-ups at the hem to invoke a real 1970s New York vibe.  The highlight of the collection seemed to stand out a mile, however.  The chocolate brown, leather, mid-length pleated skirt was as delicious as it sounds.  With an elongated waist pulled in by a single strap, and paired with a simple white blouse and ankle boots, it was the ultimate interpretation of the ‘Chloé woman’ and reflected Ramsey-Levi’s fierce loyalty to that image and her determination to make sure it’s always handled with grace – aptly mirroring another proclamation seen in the collection.


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