If the thick gold invitation for the Chloé show hinted at an opulent experience, the collection wasn’t the kind of sumptuously gilded and bejewelled affair the season has already displayed. While huge golden satellite dish lights swayed over the catwalk, Clare Waight Keller’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection was really rather stripped-down. The opulence was in the materials: silk cloqué and crushed plissé, smocked medallion patchwork jacquard, chiffon-weight knitwear, and gold metallic mesh (thanks, show notes), but the dim colour palette of khakis, grey and navy made sure to tone down any crazy lavish stuff before things got too out of hand. This, mind you, was a pragmatic collection.
You don’t need a degree in anthropology to see who Chloé’s wearer is – or at least who Chloé has decided its wearer is – and if the house sought to further communicate a departure from the playful, youthful spirit that once defined it, this collection hit a homerun. Floaty skirts, slouchy tops, and roomy trousers had a comfy vibe to them, while a practical shoe underlined the breezy but grown-up nature of the collection. Even the hair and make-up had a natural, unfussy quality to it, which went hand-in-hand with the rustic texture of the runway and a soundtrack sampling Lana Del Ray’s popular radio hit Blue Jeans.