There’s something to be said about fashion’s ability to, somehow, exist in a different universe, playing out against some of the most dramatic world events. Amidst President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, violent protests in Hong Kong, and the ongoing global push for climate change action, Fashion Week was business as usual, with fashion designers presenting a slew of fabrics and tailoring options to divert our political anxieties with sartorial splendour.
Erratic wet weather was the order of the day — the last day of Paris Fashion Week, and navigating my way inside Chloé’s headquarters was a stylish refuge from the hustle and bustle of the past few days. I head for Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s office, which sits at the end of a long corridor, lined with rooms, each crammed with Chloé samples. Her studio office — surprisingly neat, considering it was just a week after Chloé’s presentation — is light and airy, thanks in part to the floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrors while the calm hues of beige and white lend a touch of romance. (I couldn’t help notice the colour since it was widely used in the collection Ramsay-Levi had just presented). Set against the row of mirrors, which double as a secret doorway to the “mess” of her fitting room, is an L-shaped sofa where we cosied up for this interview.
“Fashion today is incredibly fast-paced,” she says, her words lightly laced with a Parisian accent and in her signature relaxed demeanour, “[but] at the same time, humanity [needs to] calm down and get slower. [This was] what I did this summer — to take another pace and think about what fashion is today and what Chloé is.”
Ramsay-Levi took the helm as Chloé’s creative director in 2017. To her, then, the role meant taking into consideration input from the business and marketing sides. Two years in, and as one of the most inspiring female designers in fashion, she has decided to bring the focus back to her own voice. Surely, her fifth runway collection this year echoed this resolve from the designer — and more importantly, the woman — she believes herself to be.
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