What bags will I be craving to carry come Fall 2013? CHLOÉ! Book bags and satchels galore in luscious leathers and comely crocs: they are as user-friendly as they are desirable. A mere three seasons after taking over one of the fashion world’s most storied houses, Clare Waight Keller has got her groove. I interviewed her after her freshman show in September 2011, and again yesterday at the Jardin de Tuileries. This was a much more relaxed and self-assured Clare from the woman I met several years ago. She told me the Chloé girl doesn’t need to try too hard. And why should she have to? She oozes confidence in spades and possesses a certain attitude, the kind that pushes her to pull on a pair of sweatpants and head to a cocktail party. Except these aren’t your run-of-the-mill sweats; they’re of butter-soft leather in cornflower-blue.
Taking the concept of the uniform and making it personal, the pinafore dresses and sheer polka-dot blouses are equal parts cute and refined. The same goes for the asymmetric tutu skirts and wicked metal-net overlays. Citing inspiration from dorm rooms, flirting, bike sheds, and tough girls, the collection is at once fantastically youthful and cleverly mature. Even all dressed up for the red carpet, there is an ease to the gilded chain-link dress. The new Chloé girl may not be fully grown just yet, but her style is.