Chloé’s contemporary Stéphane Audran chic
Stéphane Audran – a French beauty, curiously blessed with a man’s first name – was the inspiration of the latest Chloé show and that turned out to be, well, an inspired choice.
Audran – the star of multiple films of Luis Bunuel and Claude Chabrol – represented a certain image of French haute bourgeoisie rigor mixed with considerable seductive power. Which is pretty much what we got for fall 2018 at Chloe, in an excellent collection of contemporary French chic by designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi in her second show for the house.
The key idea – repeated at least 30 times – was a play on the shirt-dress. Cut with inserts of lace; slit at multiple angles; finished with ruffles; made in flimsy silk; or offered in more authoritative wool – all of the ideas looked very strong, and properly seductive. One could easily imagine the mysterious wide-eyed beauty Audran – a huge fan of Chloé who today lives, age 85, in Versailles - wearing them all.
Ramsay-Levi also cut them with deep gorges; flared them below the waist; inserted horizontal bands; and produced them with art deco prints. Everything seemed to undulate optimistically.
For chilly afternoons, she showed elongated jodhpurs – like the pair she wore when she took her bow – sometimes trimmed with goat-hair. Indeed, from the pony skin coats to the shaggy posh hippie jerkins, this was a pro-fur statement.
“This was about the bourgeois, a class that always moves from its own boundaries – sometimes they go revolutionary and other times they are very restrained. And I wanted to play on that. So, I call the whole collection the Play of Selves, like Cindy Sherman. And I was thinking very much of Stéphane Audran as she was dressed in Chloé for many, many films. So I wanted a woman who is dangerously seductive,” explained the designer.
Marching pretty much all in laced leather and lizard boots with metal heels, some even covered with miniature chain mail curtains. Every gal finished with long golden chains, amulets, wristbands and chunky rings. Moreover, happily this was pretty much a logo-free zone, with just socks bearing the name Chloé.
Presented before the giant glass windows of the Maison de la Radio, with the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, the cast swept around an octagonal shaped runway before a massive abstract wall hanging.
“I seem to be only seeing cinematic images in my head these days. But as my companion, or I mean boyfriend, is a cinematographer, that sort of makes sense,” joked the designer after embracing a gang of It Gals, from Lou Doillon to Mia Goth.
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