There are certain days when one realizes that the best way to see French romanticism is from the vantage point of an English rose.
That was very much the case on Monday afternoon, Oct. 1, in Paris on viewing the curling and ruffled and rather determinedly expansive spring 2013 collection designed by the house of Chloe's creative director Claire Waight Keller, an energetic English-born lady.
One could not accuse Waight Keller of pulling her punches when it came to volume - from huge culottes, designed for slim ladeis but large enough for a linebacker, to abstract hibiscus print pajamas for day, so large they billowed down the catwalk.
Waight Keller's sunny personality was reflected in the setting - a wide white board catwalk reminiscent of a posh seaside terrace illuminated by sun beaming through the lofty panels in the custom built tent in the Tuilleries gardens in Paris.
The designer was in harmony with many of the key trends in Paris: a sense of lady-like distinction, metallic fabrics - most memorably iridescent Lurex - and a new twisted silhouette.
She cropped and chopped sleeves, added peplums to cocktails dresses, ruffled necklines incessantly and finished pants and skirts in patches of fabric flowers. In a word, Waight Keller determinedly broke new ground rather than referenced the past. Accessorized with some great new Art Deco shoulder bags, this was a charming moment for Chloe.
The show celebrated the 60th anniversary of Chloe, and was dedicated to the house's founder, Gaby Aghion. Two days before, Waight Keller feted the opening of Chloe Attitudes, a sleek exhibition that included work from each of Chloe's nine key designers all the way back to Aghion's first show, a charmingly informal affair at the Cafe de Flore on Paris' Left Bank in 1956.
Today the brand crossed the Seine, a little like Waight Keller crossed the Chanel, to create a certain casual chic that will forever be Chloe.