It is the end of an era for the 65-year-old Parisian fashion house Chloé. After six years, the brand’s creative director, Clare Waight Keller, is bidding farewell. It was a bittersweet moment felt throughout the fashion industry when Keller delivered her final bow in Paris on Thursday morning.
Keller helped characterize the Chloé woman as we know her today: someone who exudes femininity and class, with a charming, bohemian sensibility. It is Clare who helped define Chloé’s sartorial identity as the go-to luxe, effortless, boho brand for its steady stream of pastel-colored, sheer, billowy, balloon-sleeved dresses, printed silk pussy-bow blouses, and ’70s style wide-legged trousers.
Keller’s last collection at Chloé played on her strengths and delivered blush-colored blouses layered under secretarial minidresses made of wool and leather. White sheer blouses with lace embroidery insets were paired with loose, baggy trousers. Lacy eyelet and silk minidresses gave the nod to the ubiquitous ’60s and ’70s mod style.
Standout favorites include a burnt-orange and yellow plaid coat with a burgundy fur collar, polished navy cape-style coat, and a nylon color-blocked track pant paired with a thick, chocolate-brown velvet bomber jacket.
Under Keller, the #chloeGIRLS movement took center stage, representing the women who embody the mind, body, and spirit of the brand. This girl-group included a variety of celebrity women, including the French actress Clémence Poésy, Olsen sibling Elizabeth Olsen, resident cool-girl Chloë Sevigny, as well as global social-media influencer Aimee Song. Song and Sévigny were seated front row during Thursday’s show, with Oscar-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert as well as Solange Knowles, Chiara Ferragni, Olivia Palermo, and Emma Roberts.
When Keller became the creative director in 2011, she followed in the footsteps of some of fashion’s most revered designers. Karl Lagerfeld started out as a head designer under Chloé’s founder, Gaby Aghion, before taking on the head role as creative director from 1964-1983, and again from 1992-1997.
In 1997, a young British designer (of famous lineage) named Stella McCartney was granted the coveted role and soon showed the industry she richly deserved the honor.
When McCartney left to launch her eponymous line, a young designer named Phoebe Philo took the helm for six years. Philo is now highly regarded within the industry as creative director of the Paris brand Céline.
In 2011, Keller finally arrived at Chloé after working stints at Pringle of Scotland and Gucci (when Tom Ford was still at the helm), putting her personal touch on the prêt-à-porter fashion style that the Chloé brand spearheaded in the 1950s.
Although Keller’s plans for the future have not been made public, nor who her next successor will be, there are rumors she is in discussion with Givenchy to take over the role of Riccardo Tisci, who recently departed. We will sincerely miss Keller’s feminine, ethereal touch to the modern boho girl’s style.
As Keller put it, “Chloé speaks to me on so many levels: first, because it’s feminine. I love the free-spirited, effortless attitude of the Chloé girl. For me, Chloé is about that fabulous piece you can wear so many different ways, and the spirit of confidence you brave when you wear it. Most of all, it feels real.”
Click ahead to see all of our favorite looks from Clare Waight Keller’s last collection for Chloé.