Fresh from her much-lauded debut, and keen to move the Chloé girl on both in spirit and presence from her predecessors, for Autumn/Winter 2018, Natacha Ramsay-Levi delved into the many facets of her female character, referencing cinematic representations of iconic '70s actresses Anjelica Huston, Sissy Spacek and Isabelle Huppert. Drawing on their strength, their power and a prevailing sense of their elusiveness, the designer sought to present her vision of one-woman dressing for the many sides of her personality, and, in doing so, taking on new characters in the process.
Subverting staples through detailing, buttons on shirts and shirtdresses were removed to plunging effect, knife pleats, insets, studs, unexpected embroideries and cut-outs were added, statement cuffs played out on the wrists or elbows of otherwise billowing dresses, and skirt-trouser hybrids made an appearance. Layering was rife and often in a surprising order – think lace bralets over cropped tops underneath sharp V-neck blouses, and knee-high Chloé logo'd socks worn over trousers. Playing to those house horsey vibes, jodhpur renditions – a signature Ramsay-Levi move and also worn by the designer on her exit – were key, as were riding skirts, horse-bit belts and equestrian-esque hardware on the new season’s crop of Chloé bags. Necklaces, meanwhile, were central to many looks – super-statement, chunky and at times, like chains of mini medallions.
And, in keeping with brand heritage, archival prints were splashed onto top-to-toe floral slashed-shoulder looks, on shirts slashed from midway to hem, and super-'70s optic prints on lapels and cuffs peeking out. Cinematic in its plot and pace, with many unexpected twists, it’s clear Ramsay-Levi is not looking for genre, but rather a freedom in which to explore her rich and storied remit.