Women. Chloé AW20

The Chloé invitation came with a mini poster of a Rita Ackermann painting. The artist provided access to five additional pieces from the ’90s and ’00s at Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s request, and the designer used them as patches on the front and back of a button-down shirt, as a design on a blanket shawl (Leave Me Alone, 1995), and as an actual-size print for a flowing shirtdress. Golden totem sculptures by Marion Verboom decorated the runway, and Marianne Faithfull smokily read Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” and other poems on the soundtrack. Still more women creatives joined the models on the catwalk. “It’s about a community of creative spirits,” Ramsay-Levi stated. “Yes, clothes are great, but I love creative women.” After three years at the helm of the brand, Natacha accumulated her biggest Chloé signatures for autumn-winter 2020: the tailoring, the soft blouses, the romantic dresses. She infused them with personal touches that made them even more special. Suits leaned ’70s, with easy flaring pants and rolled-sleeve jackets. Her blouses had delicately jeweled buttons and cuff links, and her romantic dresses were alternately inset with bands of crochet at the hem or decorated with enamel embroidery at their peekaboo necklines. The Rita Ackermann prints worked their charm too. Natacha Ramsay-Levi is one of those “woman for women” designers, and since Phoebe Philo still hasn’t come back yet, she leads the pack.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Simpler. Chloé SS20

It’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s fifth season at Chloé, and she decided on some changes. Less over-sophisticated details, boho prints and messy accessorising for spring-summer 2020. “I’m thinking of it as chapter two for myself. I’ve tried a lot of different things; I thought, let’s simplify – be honest and true.” While such approach results in less ‘show-stoppers’ for magazine editorials (and stuff that always ends up on heavy discount), this collection proved to be one of her strongest in a while. Where earlier Ramsay-Levi might have avoided familiar Chloé-isms, like the particular shade of creamy peach associated with the brand since Karl Lagerfeld’s days, here she used them a lot: the show ended with a pair of long, graceful pleated dresses in the color. Micro-floral-print frocks were styled unbuttoned and worn over a silk bra and trousers – the look had a romantic, vintage feel. Making things simpler really works from time to time.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.