by Alexander Fury .

The walk-through at Chloé

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After a busy, busy Paris fashion week, sitting in the overheated tent in the Tulleries, it was really quite difficult to stay awake at the Chloé show. Paulo Melim Andersson, three seasons into his tenure, offered a collection which will no doubt be quickly dubbed 'eclectic,' a popular fashion euphemism for disjointed and unfocussed. The frankly cretinous programme notes only served to scramble the message even more: the Chloé girl suffers from 'urban ennui', apparently, with an 'aristocratic past and a walk on the wild side present'. How this equates to the clothing shown, I haven't yet figured out. The collection tried to hit every possible trend on the head - masculine tailoring, embellishment, black-is-back ad nauseum - but in its desperate attempts to appear 'branché' it came across as stilted as the show music, jumping violently from euro-electronica to plaintive violins with no explanation inbetween. There was an oddly summery feel to the prissy, sprig-print chiffons, chintz and paisleys, perhaps because we saw them done by so many others this spring; likewise the high-necked blouses, dubbed Victoriana, but with definite shades of Prada's 'Sincere Chic'. The oversized, tweedy masculine tailoring was nice (albeit already a cliché), but as quickly as it appeared it was gone, with no development of aesthetic. It's not that the A/W 2008 Chloé collection was particularly bad, or especially offensive - indeed much of it was very, very good. It's just that throughout one had the feeling that we've seen pretty much everything offered before, and done with more conviction, something we should never feel at a major Paris show. That may seem harsh, but when the only hyperbole a review can possibly muster is 'nice' and 'good' to describe a collection, something has to be awry.