I have some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: the Chloe Lucy Bag, which everyone adored when we included it in our Chloe runway coverage and our Fall 2012 runway wrap-up, has finally become available online, and its first landing spot is at Matches Fashion. Yay! The first sighting of a major runway lust object available for purchase always gives me heart palpitations.
Chloe Handbags and Purses(Page 2)
Ever since Clare Waight Keller took the top creative spot at Chloe, I’ve been an unrepentant fangirl. Waight Keller has required an incredibly short turnaround time to set the brand back on a chic path that many had felt it lost after the exit of Phoebe Philo several years ago, and the collections, from ready-to-wear to accessories to shoes, have all improved by leaps and bounds in just over a year.
I don’t like to dance on anyone’s grave (sorry, Hannah MacGibbon), but Clare Waight Keller’s second collection as the creative director of Chloe hits it out of the park even harder than the first one did, particularly when it comes to handbags. Looking at the feminine, luxurious, modern leather pieces that Keller’s team conceived for Chloe Fall 2012 makes it nearly impossible to remember the eye-searing catastrophe of MacGibbon’s last collection for the French house only a year ago.
I was talking to my friend Tanya the other day about her next handbag purchase, and the subject of patent vs. regular leather came up. Patent’s having a huge moment right now, with everyone from 3.1 Phillip Lim to Chloe remaking some of their most successful designs in the stiff, glossy material, but the look isn’t for everyone or every design, no matter how hard brands try to make us think it is.
Images via Vogue.com
Psst. You guys. It’s safe to come look at these pictures from Chloe Spring 2012 because finally, at long last, Chloe has turned the handbag corner! The company had to give Hannah MacGibbon the heave-ho after last season’s disaster and bring in Clare Waight Keller from Pringle of Scotland to fix things up, but based on Chloe’s Paris Fashion Week show, it was an incredibly shrewd decision on the part of the brand’s parent company, Richemont.
I love colorblocking. I love the way the seemingly simple trend took over the fashion world quickly and had everyone feeling like some novel idea was introduced in a ground-breaking manner. Yet the trend works so well on everyone, showcasing solid colors paired together to give a sleek yet bold look. The handbag world has taken to the trend as well, with many designers releasing versions of the trend that they believe will get people buzzing.
Chloe Gabby Bucket Bag, $2395 via Saks
It should be noted, before we continue, that this Chloe collection got at least one designer fired. Hannah MacGibbon, who had been creative director for the brand for several years, was shown the door after Chloe Fall 2011 was roundly panned. Other shuffling in the brand’s ranks weren’t announced, of course, but based on how much better Resort 2012′s accessories are then those of Fall 2011, one can only imagine that a significant shakeup did occur.
It would be easy for a brand in flux to get a little bit lazy with its accessories for a resort collection while new creative talent got comfortable and plotted a new course for upcoming collections, but Chloe Resort 2012 doesn’t strike me as lazy at all. When creative director Hannah MacGibbon was shown the door after a disappointing collection for Fall 2011, I assumed that the earliest improvements would probably be seen on the Spring 2012 runway.
Chloe Madeleine Lambskin Tote, $2681 via Luisa Via Roma
I’ve written before about Chloe’s tendency to stripmine every halfway successful accessory the brand has ever had into oblivion. “Oh, what’s this? We’ve made a satchel that people sort of like? Redesign it into a tote, a shoulder bag, a clutch and three different types of hobos immediately. And make it into a second satchel, just for good measure.” Those tactics are used to a certain extent by most designers, but Chloe’s insistence on beating a good design into the ground is almost singular in its ferocity.
Chloe has had a tough few months. The brand’s Fall 2011 show in Paris was not particularly well-received in fashion circles (and I, for one, hated the handbag collection), and after an initial statement of solidarity, the French house parted ways with creative director Hannah MacGibbon earlier this month in favor of Claire Waight Keller. Hopefully that signals a new and exciting path for the brand, but in the meantime, we have to evaluate what it’s producing at the moment.