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. Like I said…sorry, Hannah.
The only complaint that I have about this collection is that at times, it feels more like spring than fall, which makes it even harder for me to conceive of waiting six months to get these bags in my hot little hands. From oversized bicolor satchels to smart, trim utility clutches, these pieces are exactly what I want from the Chloe girl. Want to be that Chloe girl? Start saving now. (more…)
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. The perfect example: The Chloe Madeline Satchel. (more…)
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.
Waight Keller did well to focus on doing a single shape (a shoulder bag with modern finishes) in a variety of colors and sizes; MacGibbon’s downfall was her seeming inability to edit her vision down into a cohesive finished product that made as all want to be the Chloe girl. Alternately, I know I want to be the girl who carries these handbags (not to mention, be the girl who wears the pretty-but-modern pleated dresses that populated the collection), and making that feeling happen is the obvious first step in what looks like it’s going to be a Chloe comeback. (more…)
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. But as always, some do it in a way that draws us in, and others totally miss the mark.
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.
The problem, though, is that we still have to wait a few months for the new stuff to come out while bags like the Chloe Gabby Bucket Bag populate the brand’s shelf space at department stores. Ladies, this is a runway bag. Someone put this on the runway. I’ve known that for almost half a year now, but the mind, it still boggles. Try and remember that better Chloe bags are around the corner, ladies. They’ll be here soon. (more…)
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. Perhaps that’s not the case.
Chloe’s resort bags aren’t revolutionary, but the have a cleanness and confidence that the brand’s previous several accessories collections have lacked. And while there’s a Paddington reboot in the mix, a habit of the brand that tends to irk me, the bright pink and minimal Paddington markings mean that, at the very least, it actually feels like a genuine reboot instead of a cynical cash grab. I’m suddenly feeling a lot more excited about Chloe’s upcoming spring show. More photos after the jump. (more…)
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.
Every now and then, though, the practice works out, as with the Chloe Madeleine Lambskin Tote, based on last season’s beautiful minimalist runway satchel. What can I say? Even a stopped clock is right twice per day. This handbag is one of those times for Chloe. (more…)
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. Luckily, that includes the adorable Chloe Eliza Satchel.
While this bag is not exactly a design revelation for Chloe, it does accent the brand’s aesthetic strong point rather nicely. The accessories crew does a great job mixing neutrals and the company’s best bags are often among its most petite, and while this bag is still large enough for daytime wear, it definitely puts a check in both the neutral and diminutive categories. (more…)
I’ve already asked many questions of you guys today, which is probably not fair for a beautiful Friday in early spring, but I have just one more: Do white bags make you nervous? They make me very nervous, for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not a particularly careful person. If someone out there is going to have a little ketchup on her finger after lunch, that someone is going to be me. I try, but I’m just not detail-oriented. Second, I wear a lot of dark clothes. Dark clothes mean dye transfers when you’re dealing with light leather. Third, I don’t think twice about putting my bags on the ground when necessary. They’re bags, they’re meant to be used!
Even considering all that, I’m still totally smitten with the Chloe Madeline Runway Satchel. Graphic white and minimalism go together like peanut butter and jelly, although perhaps I shouldn’t use a food metaphor with such a pristine bag; I can almost see the grape Smuckers fingerprints now… (more…)
The more I look through the handbags from Chloe Fall 2011, the more I wonder who the Chloe girl is. I also wonder if Chloe’s accessories designers know the answer to that question, or if they’ve chosen instead to hope that they can make everyone feel like a Chloe girl by creating a collection that eschews a unifying aesthetic in favor of encompassing a group of ideas that are seemingly not related.
If you like hard-lined, ladylike handbags in exotic materials (or bags with actual animal heads), Chloe has a bag for you. If you spent all of your childhood lusting after your mom’s Coach bucket bags, well, there are plenty of designs that look like those as well. Are you a hippie who likes colorblocking and whipstitching? You’re not left out, either. Of course, bags aren’t sold as a collection; they’re sold as individual pieces to individual women who probably don’t care what the rest of the bags in the collection look like as long as they love the pieces that they’re buying. Still, though, I can’t shake the impression that this is a collection without an identity, and I’m not sure how you go about marketing that. (more…)