Wednesday 3rd March

| BY Claudia Croft

Chloé: Ready-to-wear AW21

A new era for Chloé began, on what would have been its founder, Gaby Aghion’s, 100th birthday. Gabriela Hearst has breezed into the historic house and brought a game-changing, sustainable approach as well as her trademark positive energy.

Her models, emerging from Brasserie Lipp, into the Paris night, wore enveloping blanket-ponchos, integrated with puffa polo necks to set the tone. Ponchos have been part of the Chloé design language for decades and Hearst’s ‘puffcho’ gave us an appealing update on the boho/feminine house codes. The scalloped edges beloved of Karl Lagerfeld, who worked for the house in the seventies and the nineties, appeared on leather dresses and the new, quilted Juana bag. From the Phoebe Philo era, Hearst fixated on the Edith bag (it was the first designer bag she ever owned) and tasked her team with sourcing over 50 vintage versions from eBay, which were then customised, with fabrics and leather from the debut collection.

She also showed ‘Sheltersuits’ – enveloping outerwear made in collaboration with a homeless charity. As well as upcycling, 80 per cent of the cashmere, used for her long lean knits, is recycled. Hearst has commissioned many of her own sustainable suppliers and implemented a whole new way of working at Chloé, in record time. “They were able to shift from one day to another to a new way of thinking, and a new way of designing,” she said. “In only two months, we were able to do a collection already four times more sustainable than the past winter collection.” Look good, feel good, do good: these are the pillars of Chloe’s new Chakra couture.

Photography courtesy of Chloé.