A FRESH ERA
Chloé’s new Creative Director, Natacha Ramsay-Levi is cultivating her own unique version of the house’s fresh era. Since the founding of Chloé by Gaby Aghion in 1952, the brand’s collections have been named in alphabetical order. When Natacha-Ramsay-Levi took over as creative director in 2017, it was an ‘R’ year, which explains the nomenclature of icons like the Rylee boots, the Roy bag, the River Sandals.
Her first collection sets the tone: feminity infused with lyricism, but far from ethereal romanticism we had come to expect. The embroidered blouses are accented with colorful graphic yokes and historical imagery evoking totems, amulets, colors of ancient Egypt. The confident, sexy collection she sent down the runway revealed Ramsay-Levi’s deep understanding (and personal mastery) of French cool-girl chic. It’s that same, endlessly worshiped je ne sais quoi that the brand was built upon. “Creativity is a conversation between things“, Ramsay-Levi says, “You have to let ideas germinate and then see where they thrive best”.
Her most formative influence has been the 15 years working under her mentor Nicolas Ghesquière first at Balenciaga and then at Louis Vuitton, as his right hand and protégée. She came to understand that a garment is an attitude linked to the person who wears it. “She’s very real, she’s in the street, she’s not in a fantasy world”.
A vitality that she illustrates with floral dresses for all body types, or pantsuits with horse motifs reminiscent of Chloé in the Stella McCartney days. The house’s heritage offers a mosaic of inspirations within which she seeks to find her voice. Part of that process is collaborations with artists like Marion Verboom whose installation Achronies, provided the backdrop for the runway show. A homage to the pictorial dresses of the Karl Lagerfeld era, and an eloquent expression of Chloé’s innate femininity.
The cool girl | July 2018