One of the Paris Fashion Week Shows we’ve all been waiting for is Gabriela Hearst’s inaugural unveiling of her autumn-winter 2021 women’s ready-to-wear collection for the House of Chloé that was shown digitally today. Also noteworthy is Chloé unleashing the collection one-hundred years on the day of Gaby Aghion’s, the founders, birth. Chloé in Greek means “blooming” and with Hearst at the helm, it’s a new bloom for the House. The Uruguayan- American designer has created a collection that fits in with the DNA of the House of Chloé, but it’s also possible to see Hearst’s own style DNA in various pieces.
Both Gaby and Gabi are two ambitions fashion designers with audacious tenacity to interpret femininity in their respective generations. Hearst noting to Gaby, “your House is in good hands.” According to the House in a statement, “when Chloé’s founder began presenting her earliest collections, she invited guests to Left Bank locales such Café de Flore and Brasserie Lipp.” And it was in front of Brasserie Lipp that Chloé staged the fashion show. It is important to Hearst that this inaugural collection be sustainable with a commitment to the greater good.
In line with Chloé’s 2025 sustainable goals, the collection is four times more sustainable compared to last year’s collection. Hearst and her team have eliminated polyester and viscose, sourcing recycled, reused, and organic denim. 50% of the silk used comes from organic agriculture and more than 80% of the cashmere yarn for knitwear is recycled according to the House.
The collection of twenty-nine looks is filled with an earthy color palette and it began with a ceramic button and this quote by Gaby Aghion: “There was no luxury ready-to-wear; well-made clothes with quality fabrics and fine detailing did not exist.”
Models walked down the runway to music from Latin American artists Lido Pimienta and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. From tailored jackets that tie at the side, to trench coats, and dresses in leather and wool gauze, Hearst has created precise daywear pieces. The knitwear pieces are made from recycled cashmere and multicolor stripes that are a touch of Hearst’s Uruguayan culture. She has also brought in puffcho, a type of poncho, striped dresses, and fringes for personal inspiration and a nod to her heritage.
Going into the archives, Hearst brought in distinct Chloé touches with Aghion’s scalloped detailing from her early cotton pique dress from her 1960 Brasserie Lipp show. Hearst has added this detail to the georgette blouses and on petals of leather or denim patchwork. The marbling effect seen throughout the collection was birthed in New York, Hearst’s hometown, an artisanal technique from natural ingredients.
Another unique touch are the complex intarsia butterflies on sweaters and scarves that Hearst has added. “If our insects go, we collapse as a species. This is why harmful herbicides and pesticides used in the making of our materials must be eliminated,” notes Hearst.
Chloé is a full design House with handbag and jewelry pieces as well. All bags are lined with natural linen. “My first luxury handbag was the Chloé Edith bag and it is a piece I still love and wanted to pay homage to,” notes Hearst. Reissuing the Edith bag, Hearst has used recycled jacquard and has also created a mini version as a tote and a doctor’s bag. Fifty vintage Edith bags have been repurposed with leftover materials from the collection, “new isn’t always better,” shares Hearst.
The shoewear is comfortable. Leather Chelsea boots on a crepe sole with a scallop edge trim with recycled cashmere is fitting for an autumn shoe. Collaborating with Manboots, Chloé material and recycled cashmere offer a playful winter shape for next season.
As for jewelry, the ceramic button that inspired the whole collection is seen as a pendant, paired with minerals and precious stones from amethyst, rose and smoky quartz and the regal blue shade of lapis lazuli. Baroque pearls with recycled wood for pendants and earrings are a part of the collection.
The House collaborated with Manos del Uruguay and Sheltersuit as ways to bring positive social impact for the women and men craft makers seen throughout the collection. The Sheltersuit Chloé Backpack comes in four colors and made from repurposed materials. “This is part of the Chloé mission: weaving purpose to business endeavors in a post-pandemic world to help acknowledge and alleviate the hardship of others. A luxury brand has the duty to do so,” says Hearst.
Watch Chloé’s AW21 Women’s RTW collection