paris fashion week|chloe rtw fall 2011

With her contract up, Hannah MacGibbon has been the subject of the rumor mill herself this week. Will she or won’t she renew? Was the Chloé designer hinting at her preference with her finale song, the 1972 hit “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners? Perhaps. But the score was also in sync with the Seventies show she whipped up, in which she fully flaunted her love affair with the era. This time, however, she gave those sportswear shapes some bite with a serpentine story, in both real snakeskin (spliced into pullovers and jumpers) and trompe l’oeil patterns, whether intarsia-ed on a sexy sweater dress or printed on skirts and breezy chiffon frocks. And somehow, despite the numerous takes, the motif never felt relentless. It actually gave the first half of the show a focused platform for presenting some rather appealing clothes: great sweaters, trenches and trousers that projected confident ease. If the second half proved a little wayward — MacGibbon zigzagged from poet dresses to beribboned capes to a fringed and feathered macramé vest — at least they still pulsed with that familiar Seventies vibe. There’s a reason MacGibbon keeps returning to that casual free spirit: She’s good at it.

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paris fashion week|chloe rtw fall 2011