Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Looking at the stills from Hannah MacGibbon's first show for Chloe, I couldn't help but to think of that off-beat William Klein film from the 60s, Qui ĂȘtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?

Have you ever seen it? The film follows Polly, an American It model and her life in Paris by way of a tv film crew. You learn of her dreams of Prince Charming and the relentless battery of lascivious assaults she must fend off on a daily basis as the coolest girl in France. Everyone wants a piece of her. It makes me wonder: Did Klein know that he was foretelling reality tv as we know it today? Or, was it a just frank portrayal of how elusive yet familiar that cool It girl is to all of us?

We all know who that It girl is. But ironically enough, she's the most difficult girl to design for. And since Phoebe Philo successfully defined the Chloe girl as precisely that, no wonder every designer since has had such a rough time of capturing her again.

While I thought MacGibbon's palette was nearly spot on, with its quirky off-beat colors, there were some major stumbles. Really now, what girl is going to wear a coat with scallops framing the shoulders so that she looks like a crocodile? Fits were unflattering and will undoubtedly be tough sells on real-world girls, but the vibe of Chloe was back. Paolo Melim Andersson, MacGibbon's predecessor had it all wrong when he tried to finesse the Chloe girl into someone who was just a bit too polished.

Seeing the collection, I felt like I heard a collective sigh of fashionistas from around the world who have been waiting for the Chloe girl to return from hiatus. She's back, but now we just have to see if MacGibbon will put her in the right clothes.

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