SS16: Chloé's New Ninties' Girl

The Chloé girl is known for her bohemian sensibility, but this season creative director Clare Waight-Keller fused this free-spirited style with youthful accents, which resulted in an ode to optimism.

The label’s familiar signatures were still present on the spring runway, with off-the-shoulder peasant tops, festival-ready lace dresses and gorgeous georgette gowns taking centre stage. However, the appearance of elements of Athleisure was a new departure for the French house, a result of Waight-Keller’s sphere of influence moving sharply to the 1990s this season.

The English creative director, who grew up in the decade that she feels was a freer time in fashion, dedicated her show to ‘girls named Kate, Chloé, Cecilia et al’. And several of her models stalked the runway in split-hem track pants, part of the unwritten dress code associated with the Nineties’ British rave scene.

The sense of joy and youthful optimism the designer was keen to infuse into the collection was also exemplified by the kaleidoscope of colors that appeared on many of her more familiar designs. There were dresses dipped in rainbow brights, multi-colored stripes tipping the cascading tiers of a white tank dress and cleverly colored braided strings and tassels, all of which added to spring’s playful spirit.

The appearance of oversized separates, frayed hems and denim dungarees also gave a slight ‘thrift’ feel to the collection. But despite its inspirations, this was a Parisian celebration of British youth culture, so everyday casual was elevated to a new level of luxury. Those dungarees? Double georgette. And who could resist a pair of split-hem track pants in silk knit?