h / Horses

Horses

For the Chloé woman, the horse is a kindred spirit – like her, it runs wild and free. Freedom is an essential quality to Chloé.
 
It’s only natural, then, that horses have become somewhat of a motif for Chloé. Stella McCartney’s creative direction was instrumental – both her and her then assistant Phoebe Philo were horse lovers, and appreciated their unique beauty. In 2000, Stella, inspired by the British horse painter George Stubbs, based a signature collection on the animal. Horses cantered playfully in embroidery and prints and even the season’s show opened with a film of galloping mustangs – truly a breathtaking sight and sound.
 
The wild horse is still part of the Chloé stable. Every boutique features a horse as a brass door handle. Sculpted by Gill Parker, the horse is running free, without reins or saddle. It’s a symbol that couldn’t be more apt for Chloé then, now and forever.
 
To celebrate our love of horses, watch life from their perspective in Kathryn Ferguson’s short film for Chloé.

  • Gaby Aghion

    1952-1985

    Born in Egypt in 1921, Gaby Aghion moved to Paris after the war and pioneered the concept of "luxury ready-to-wear" with the creation of Chloé in 1952. She did not feel comfortable with the restrictive wardrobe of the fifties and her thirst for greater emancipation quickly outweighed this “Couture” period as she turned the page without hesitation to offer women a new approach to fashion.

    The young Gaby chose the fabrics, drew six models and had them made by the head seamstress at the atelier Lelong. She then decided to offer them herself to the fashion boutiques which were then just starting to carry ready-to-wear clothes. She put on the first Chloé show in 1956 at a breakfast at the Café de Flore, the epicentre of young intellectual Parisians that she mingled with. It was a success and today she is still the first to express her surprise at her own audacity.

    To keep the flame alive and the label youthful, Gaby Aghion continuously sought talented designers, names that are now part of the history of contemporary fashion, to work alongside her.

    See the designs
    • Embrun dress, Gaby Aghion for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 1960

    • Gaby Aghion for Chloé, 1967

    • Gaby Aghion for Chloé, 1960

  • Karl Lagerfeld

    1965-1984 then 1992-1996

    In 1965, a young man from Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld, joined Chloé and worked under the direction of Gaby Aghion – alongside Maxime de La Falaise, Michèle Rosier and Graziella Fontana – before being appointed the house’s exclusive designer in 1975.

    Under his direction, Chloé became one of the most iconic brands of the seventies. Karl was particularly noted for his sense of humour and eccentric creations. Each of his collections for the brand became a happening.

    Karl left Chloé in 1984, but was to return for a second time in 1992, staying for another four years.

    See the designs
    • Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé, Spring-Summer 1975

    • Angkor Dress, Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé, Spring-Summer 1983

    • Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé, Spring-Summer 1994

  • Martine Sitbon

    1987-1992

    Born in Casablanca Martine Sitbon came to Paris to study at the fashion school, Studio Berçot. In 1987 she joined Chloé as Creative Director.

    Her silhouettes for the brand played on a soft femininity combined with an eclectic wardrobe, with references as diverse as a nineteenth century dandy, the Edwardian era and a matador.

    Although her early collections seem fairytale-esque, it was rock music – especially from the seventies – that became the strongest influence on Sitbon's Chloé designs.

    See the designs
    • Martine Sitbon for Chloé, Spring-Summer 1990

    • Martine Sitbon for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 1992

    • Martine Sitbon for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 1992

  • Stella McCartney

    1997-2001

    Stella McCartney was born in London – the daughter of Sir Paul, and his wife Linda. At the age of 26, after graduating from Central Saint Martins, Stella was hired by Chloé as Creative Director to replace the outgoing Karl Lagerfeld.

    Inspired by her mother – who wore Chloé – the young designer brought a breath of fresh air: celebrities, style and buzz, youth and glamour, became part of the Chloé world.

    The brand took on a vintage, sexy, rock ‘n’ roll tone, appealing to a new generation of young women who were nostalgic without being sentimental, independent and modern. The Chloé wardrobe always mixes all kinds of influences – and the vital energies of the street inspired Stella’s take.

    See the designs
    • Stella McCartney for Chloé, Spring-Summer 1998

    • Stella McCartney for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 1999

    • Stella McCartney for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2001

  • Phoebe Philo

    2002-2006

    When Stella McCartney left Chloé, her assistant and friend, Phoebe Philo, succeeded her at the brand. Born in Paris, Phoebe graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins a year after Stella.

    Her aesthetic was subtly different. With Phoebe’s arrival, Chloé started to work leather, to the delight of customers, who rushed to get bags and shoes.

    With Phoebe, a complete wardrobe of desirable pieces was developed – faithful to the spirit of the brand and yet right for now. She offered a new way of looking at fashion, adding a twist of British cool to the very Parisian Chloé.

    See the designs
    • Phoebe Philo for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2004

    • Phoebe Philo for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 2004

    • Phoebe Philo for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2006

  • Hannah MacGibbon

    2008-2011

    Hannah MacGibbon was born in London. Another graduate of the capital’s Central Saint Martins, she initially worked under Phoebe at Chloé and is credited with bringing a touch of chic to the street style of her predecessor.

    In 2008, Hannah took over the reigns at Chloé for three years. Bringing in a demure aesthetic of timeless pieces and neutral colours, she drew on a seventies aesthetic of the brand but with a modern twist. Wide capes, nude tones, jeans and chambray shirts were revisited, with belted high-waist pants.

    Hannah’s designs were about freshness, sophistication and grace – quintessentially Chloé.

    See the designs
    • Hannah MacGibbon for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 2009

    • Hannah MacGibbon for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2010

    • Hannah MacGibbon for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2011

  • Clare Waight Keller

    FROM 1ST JUNE 2011

    Clare Waight Keller was born in Birmingham. She succeeded Hannah at Chloé in the summer of 2011, moving from Pringle of Scotland.

    A graduate of the Royal College of Art, she began her career at Calvin Klein in New York, worked in the men’s studio at Ralph Lauren, and then at Gucci, under Tom Ford.

    Eagerly anticipated, Clare Waight Keller’s first show for Chloé took place in October 2011. It went to Chloé’s very soul – fluid and feminine “but boyish”, she said, these qualities were expressed in long white and powder pink pleated dresses, eyelet embroidery and belts on the hips of wide pants.

    Developing her take on Chloé for Autumn / Winter 2012, there were blouses, throw-on coats and pretty dresses in a sorbet palette. Chic, sensual and natural, that’s Clare’s Chloé.

    See the designs
    • Clare Waight Keller for Chloé, Spring-Summer 2012

    • Clare Waight Keller for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 2012

    • Clare Waight Keller for Chloé, Autumn-Winter 2012

As seen on The glitter guide