Set along the West Bund, the Long Museum rises in soft curves of concrete, weaving indoors and outdoors against the dynamic Shanghai skyline and the tranquil Huangpu river.
As a minimalist temple for contemporary and modern art, it is the site chosen by creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi for the first-ever Chloé Spring Pre-Collection runway show.
Embracing the ceremonial traditions and transformations inherent to the bustling metropolis, the historical and cultural symphony of Shanghai becomes both backdrop and central protagonist to the Spring 2020 Pre-Collection.
Expressing Ramsay-Levi’s personal fascination for the Fifth Generation of Chinese cinema, silhouettes pay homage to strong female characters – their stories shrouded in mystery and set against exultant natural landscapes where time speeds up or stands still. Considering China at the turn of two centuries, decorative and cinematic allusions unfurl throughout in dialogue with the legacy of Chloé founder Gaby Aghion, creating a symbiosis of preciousness and utility.
Dualities emerge as matching ensembles provoke boyish encounters of tailoring and delicate flou, from blazers tied at the waist to pajama-style blouses paired with ample trousers in leafy silks, woodcut toile de Jouy and crinkled jacquards.
In transparent games of print and embroidery, odes to Shanghai’s belle époque abound – from a geometric archive logo in the Art Deco style to floral buds and blooms.
Mingling with classic Chloé neutrals, they flourish in enamel shades of persimmon and cherry, terracotta, umber, saffron and cornflower blue.
Asserting touches of whimsical femininity, romantic blouses and dresses with flounced sleeves and chiffon ruffles balance the grounded workwear shapes of fitted jackets and belted coats transformed in flowering quilted satin, corduroy and suede.
Skirts flow in sheer embroidered tulle, raw denim and knife-pleated silk, whilst high flared trousers are cuffed or fall long in georgette, wool crepe, and cotton jacquards.
Examining a bourgeois exchange between Paris and Shanghai, the Spring 2020 accessories collection twists ladylike tropes of prettiness with youthful urban staples.
A patchwork of inspirations create contrasts, from lizard-embossed slingbacks and buckled loafer boots to bright, gum-soled high top trainers,
as an array of delicate jewelry pieces from hair combs to ribbon chokers feature figurative serpent heads, baroque pearls and semi-precious beads.
Echoing the collection’s graphic details, the Aby chain and lock-shaped Aby Lock appear embossed with the Art Deco archive logo, as the Chloé ‘C’ bag is flocked or finished in floral leather marquetry.
New styles include the spacious double-handled Aby bucket bag with stud and padlock hardware, and the soft top-handled Faye in pebble-grained leather with graduated chain and charm details.
After the Spring 2020 Pre-Collection show, four exclusive runway styles of the Chloé ‘C’ bag will be available for immediate purchase on WeChat for 48 hours only.