Chloe is the Parisian fashion house known for its boho-elegant style, a look masterminded by founder Gaby Aghion, who craved clothes which felt luxurious but more laid back than the standard fare on offer in the New Look-shaped Fifties. 100 years after Aghion’s birth, her latest successor at Chloe, Gabriela Hearst, showed her debut collection.
Not only do the two women share the same name (a fact which convinced Hearst that it was meant to be), but also a passion for challenging the status quo. Where Aghion’s trailblazing came in the form of silhouettes and ideas about what women should wear, for Hearst it’s a mission to combine luxury and sustainability. If you needed a singular example of how far eco clothing has come since those days when it was dismissed as being a sackcloth horror show, then look no further than Hearst’s New York-based own label cashmere shawls and tailored linen dresses; The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress by Hearst to meet Sir David Attenborough last year.
Hearst’s first Chloe show contained plenty which defied the usual expectations of a Paris Fashion Week collection – 50 vintage bags had been upcycled for the show and some of the standout pieces, like a patchwork parka, were crafted using leftover scraps of materials found in the atelier. ‘If I didn’t believe [that it’s possible to do sustainability at a powerhouse luxury brand], I wouldn’t be here,’ said the designer, who grew up in Uruguay. ‘There is definitely a way to create a product that doesn’t only look good but feels good and is balanced with the environment.’