Chloé Looks To Its Past As Its Future Lies In Wait
THE next two months are going to be busy in the world of Chloé as the French fashion house prepares to unveil the first collection from newly installed creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi. But as the house looks to its future, there is currently a poignant reflection on its past taking place.
At the brand’s new expansive, light-filled, and airy five-floor space just around the corner from its current HQ in the 8th arrondisement (that may even play host to its fashion shows at some point), a retrospective of Guy Bourdin’s shoots featuring Chloé clothes has quietly opened this week to the public by appointment.
Curated by Judith Clark, the retrospective is jolting and surprising, showcasing Chloé collections in a stark and confrontational way that its contemporary customer may not associate with the bohemian ingenue more recently linked with the house, but that is, of course, a style inherent to Bourdin’s expansive volume of work. The idea for it came about, according to Clark, when the house created its archive.
“It was discovered that Guy Bourdin was the photographer who more often than any other captured Chloé between 1956 and 1986 – a period that spanned almost the entire length of his extraordinary relationship with [Vogue Paris], which was famously his preferred site for experimentation,” writes Clark in the accompanying tome to the exhibit. Moving forward, there will be two exhibitions of similar sentiment a year.
The opening of the Maison and exhibition also sees the hallmarks of Chloé celebrated in a witty A-to-Z of the house’s history (not the main event, but a delightful extra). A for Aghion – the house’s founder; I for invitation – they have examples stretching back to the very first show in 1959; and so on, encompassing work from Gaby Aghion, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Clare Waight Keller.
Paris is awash with acclaimed fashion exhibitions right now – Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams and Balenciaga: The Work In Black just two of them. This latest addition to the line-up makes Paris a must this summer.