The sound of the sea resonated with two very different designers who are both making clothes from a woman's point of view
Chloé: The View From Home
After five years living in Paris, Chloé's creative director Clare Waight Keller has taken her family back home to England. And it showed in her collection.
But it was not that the designer had channelled British knits or hippy looks - as she might have done in the past. Instead, there was a nonchalant Gallic feeling to a vertically striped Breton sweater, worn with hands in pockets of slouchy trousers.
Or to a small, taut shrugged-on jacket, or even a top and skirt displaying a slither of flesh at the midriff. In that space dangled strings suggesting sailor's ropes.
Clare was as open as the fresh and easy summer clothes when I asked why this spring/summer 2017 collection seemed to have channelled a French vibe.
"It’s been interesting coming back and actually having a perspective on Paris, rather than being in it all the time," she said.
"I think that was part of my reason for shifting things and making it much more tailored, much more chic. And that Parisian look of crisp colours with the idea of an underlying sexiness - the tailoring is sharp, but sexy."
There was a nautical note with sailor-collared blouses and marine blue oversized top and skirt gathered at the waist by a sailing-knot, that should be noted as a trend for the new season.
But a white dress smothered in appliqué flowers caught the sweetness of the Chloé girl. The designer called it "floral innocence". Her quick phrases were as good as her defining work.
Vionnet: Liquid Chic
Like a message board, the back view at the Vionnet show offered food for thought. Embroidery on the rear of the Grecian inspired clothes might read, "you don't know me, or "being not seeming". One bold statement read: "this piece took 194 hours to make".
But Goga Ashkenazi, the owner and driving force of Vionnet, also had another story to tell. The mood board read "Urban Odyssey", displaying graphic shapes and open spaces suggesting a past and present study of Madeleine Vionnet. And that is what was achieved by the team of three designers who took a runway bow along with the salon workers.
Goga's aim is simple and wise - to create clothes with a light-handed Grecian touch that women out there might want to wear. The show opened with soft tailoring, meaning lines following the body, but with a liquid chic.
This concept of a strip of colour made a stamp of Vionnet style, although bringing in a pair of cropped jeans or a denim waistcoat seemed too obvious a way of showing that drape and shape is not the only path for this brand, yet it reminded us it was a prêt-à-porter collection for the house.