Chloe's new designer Chemena Kamali puts on a 1970s-tinged debut at Paris Fashion Week

PARIS — Chloe revisited its vibrant 1970s essence, infused with late Karl Lagerfeld’s indelible influence, while propelling the brand into a new era for the debut show of its new designer Chemena Kamali on Thursday at Paris Fashion Week.

Despite Lagerfeld’s lasting presence in the brand aesthetic, Kamali is the latest of women designers at the helm of the storied Maison. This is apt for a house credited with inventing ready-to-wear in the post-war period that liberated women from the constraints of formality.

Here are some highlights of Thursday’s fall-winter 2024 shows:

Going back to its storied roots — or close enough — Kamali challenged the brand’s heyday and, in the process, pulled in the great and good of the fashion world for her debut, one of the hottest tickets at Paris Fashion Week.

The morning show was a who’s who of fashion dynasties — harking back to the past and looking to the future. Pat Cleveland, the iconic model — and one of the first women of color anywhere to attain success on the runway in the 1960s and 1970s — entered to a flurry of camera snaps with her model daughter, Anna Cleveland.

The fashion dynasty was followed shortly by Jerry Hall and Georgia May Jagger, the daughter of Hall and Mick Jagger, who nestled into their cushioned seats near Mikhaela Aghion, the granddaughter of Chloe’s founder, Gaby Aghion.

Kamali, a 42-year-old designer from Düsseldorf who rose the ranks inside the house, said a “sense of nostalgia” and “something that triggers a memory” is at the heart of the brand — seen not just in the stars who attended but also the clothes that had one foot in the past and the other in the future.

For fall, diaphanous tiers of 1970s flounce in almost angelically light hues defined the show’s aesthetic inside a brutalist warehouse space. The gorged-out concrete and visibly rough plaster gently contrasted the femininity inherent in the designs.

The solid collection had plenty of moments of whimsy. Exaggeratedly floaty dresses were sometimes chicly tucked into giant sheeny thigh-high leather pirate boots adding unexpected styling contrasts.

So, too, did the occasional sheen of gold-metal Chloe belts, golden grape neck clasps, or the occasional giant brown leather handbag almost as big as the model holding it. Layering, statement fur, and pirate-style tights also put the style dial firmly in the late 1970s.

Kamali said she aimed to honor the brand’s heritage of liberation and innovation.

“Gaby (Aghion) wanted to liberate women from the stiffness of couture (in the 1950s) … She was one of the first to actually do ready-to-wear because she wanted women to be able to move and go to work,” Kamali explained, connecting the brand’s inception to its ongoing mission.

Reflecting on the transformative “Karl Era,” Kamali emphasized Chloe’s unique position at the intersection of nostalgia and progress.

“In the late ’70s … (Lagerfeld) was someone who could look into the past and into the future simultaneously,” she said.

This sentiment, Kamali remarked, is at Chloe’s core, blending “this sense of nostalgia” with the fresh, paving the way for a collection that respects its rich past while boldly stepping into the future.

In a touching moment, Kamali dedicated the show to her father who recently passed away, as her young son jumped up unscripted into her arms while she stepped forward to the applause.

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