While reading Chloé: Attitudes, I came across this striking dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld during his tenure with the label. Named after Sergei Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer and pianist, the ‘Rachmaninoff’ dress is composed with a graphic black and white print referencing the piano. The artwork is magnificent, the way it flows from abstraction to two dancing figures mangled together. I can hear the music while looking at it.
It’s Karl Lagerfeld’s design, but Chloé founder Gaby Aghion came up with an very unconventional concept for each season’s inspiration. Instead of marking each season the traditional way, she did so using the alphabet. By 1972, she had got to the letter R, with garments named after muses like Rachmaninoff, or simply words she found inspiring like réconciliation. Somehow it all flowed together.
I’m always surprised how little the name Gaby Aghion pops up in daily fashion conversation. The visionary French designer not only founded Chloé in 1952, but was also the first to predict that the future of fashion lies in ready-to-wear. In fact, Aghion is credited to have coined the term prêt-à-porter.