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Easy Modernity: The Vibrant Evolution of Chloé

Ahead of the Parisian house's A/W16 show, we present an article from the new issue of AnOther Magazine, in which Waight Keller muses on her affinity for 90s rave culture, casual elegance and British sportswear

One expects many things of a Chloé collection – not least that familiar, free-spirited sensibility, articulated through chiffon dresses, soft tailoring and retro-inspired denim that feels both nostalgic and new. The introduction of sportswear for Spring/Summer 2016, however, is something of a revelation. “I went a bit ‘raver’ this season,” explains Clare Waight Keller, the British creative director of the storied Parisian house. “I wanted the collection to have a Nineties, dance party vibe.”

That would explain the newfound athleticism, then, which plays out in narrow, zip-up jackets, slim tank tops, and split-hem tracksuit trousers that give off-the-shoulder blouses a carefree androgyny. “I wanted to appease my British roots, which are anchored in street style and sportswear,” she adds. “I felt there was room for tension between that and the hyper-feminine side of Chloé.”

Equally compelling is the use of colour, as rainbow-hued shades dance across sheer crepon blouson jackets and along woven trails of flowing, floor-grazing gowns, reiterating the Nineties raver aesthetic. Not to mention the paisley-print anoraks and fraying, love-worn jeans. “God, that era was fantastic,” Keller exclaims. “It had a totally different mentality; it was the anti-selfie generation. The supermodels of that time had such authenticity and character, which shone through in their personal style.”

One such runway stalwart was Kirsty Hume, the Scottish beauty with striking pre-Raphaelite features who came to prominence in that period, and stars in this accompanying AnOther Magazine shoot. “I’ve always thought that Kirsty has an incredible presence, both enigmatic and powerful,” says Waight Keller. “She has the ability to mix lo-fi and luxury in a very natural, effortless way.”

Though Waight Keller draws on the past to inspire her collections, her vision stays carefully attuned to the future. “We’re moving towards an aesthetic ease in everything, from technology to fashion, and that’s what I want to convey,” she muses. “Track pants that work as well for the office as they do for an all-night party. That’s real modernity.”

This article was originally published in the S/S16 edition of AnOther Magazine.