It started with a Prince bass riff so loud that the audience jumped – a cue to be on high alert for a change of pace at Chloé – but fortunately Clare Waight Keller didn’t stray too far from her tried-and-true formula. Fall/Winter 2016 represented all-encompassing female fashion tropes: the carefree hippie girl in her tented, multi-colored frocks, the life-of-the-party girl with her ruffled homage to the High Priest of Pop, and the against-all-odds motocross adventurer. The latter was the platform on which Keller built her newest additions to the Chloé family, a squad of leather-clad girls who were a cool counterpart to the collection’s bohemian breeziness. They were foreshadowed by the show notes and invite, which both bore quotes by Anne-France Dautheville, a legendary motorcyclist who in 1973 drove her Kawasaki bike solo across three continents, covering 20,000 kilometers. She made the boys jealous with her accomplishments – they couldn’t imagine a woman making it that far on her own. Decked out in today’s Chloé finery, you’ll be sure to make the girls jealous too.
A squad of leather-clad girls were a cool counterpart to the collection’s bohemian breeziness.
According to Dautheville, she prepared for her journey by tossing a big jumper and a scarf in her saddlebag, and Keller reimagined these items as thick shearling capes, ample knitwear, and chic silks knotted around the neck. In these kind of sturdy, multi-purpose garments, you’d be ready for months on the open road as well. More literal motocross interpretations happened with leather separates, striped sportily along the surface, and flat leather boots to keep the looks grounded in practicality. Naturally, it wouldn’t be a Chloé outing without lots and lots of diaphanous dresses, which were shown in floating pastels tufted with chiffon ruffles or enlivened by blurry patches of watercolor florals. Densely knit ponchos were also in the mix, as were Prince-esque ruffled dresses and blouses with high Edwardian necklines and webby lace sleeves.
“And so it was, I went around the world because, in the end, it was just a little further. Because time ceased to exist, and the fleeting moments of chance encounters along the way were the only thing that mattered,” wrote Dautheville in 1975 in a quote that resonates because it uncovers our secret desire to be untethered. In our hectic modern world, such an idea holds sway over our imaginations, because in reality we are so mired in connection that to escape from it would be all but impossible. We’re not here to tell you how to live your life, but if you want freedom and adventure all you have to do is pack your Chloé gear and head off to your next grand adventure.