Chloé's Modern Exoticism

Jacques Brinon/AP

Giant gold disks cast a warm glow on the Chloé runway Saturday which helped create the feeling of summer for the house’s spring/ summer 2014 ready-to-wear collection. You could practically feel the desert sands blowing inside Paris's vast Lycée venue.

Burning sand dunes were mentioned in the show notes, and they were reflected in the fine lines on a crushed plisse Khaki dress, made for a female Lawrence of Arabia. The flyaway dress, worn with black sandals, were shaped in a way that brought to mind an Art Deco Oyster shell, with a darker fan of khaki found around the waist and shoulders. The ribbed khaki look could also came on sporty-looking trousers which tied at the ankles.

Khaki makes one think of the army, albeit here from a romantic yesteryear, and there was the sense of utilitarian designs becoming more elegant in, for example, a pair of shorts given a modern twist with the use of finer materials. Simpler looks came in a series of white-washed embroidered dresses and white, almost draped-looking swishy trousers and skirts, or in a long dress with the material knotted around the arms like a twist on an elegant bandage.

Some of the most striking pieces were dresses made of Tuareg blue graphic lace, a modern update on an old tradition but here reinterpreted in bold colors and patterns which had a sense of history but looked paired-down and cool.

It was a collection which felt grounded and practical, thanks to some of the desert-inspired daywear, such as shorts tied high at the sides. For example, some Kaftan-inspired dresses with flowing silhouettes were paired with belts which cinched the waistline. The collection was described by the house as a form of modern exoticism.

Chloé’s chief executive, Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye, perhaps summed it up best when he told The Daily Beast on Sunday that the house's designer, Clare Waight Keller, “Is flying with Chloé as she creates clothes that mix the sophisticated savoir faire of couture with a very airy and light attitude."