Chloe designer dedicates Paris fashion show to late founder

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Waight Keller dedicated her latest ready-to-wear show to Aghion who is credited with overseeing Chloe’s rise as a postwar style icon.

Holding a silk scarf given to her by Aghion’s family at Sunday’s show, Waight Keller said that even in old age she had remained an “incredible force”.

“It was quite an emotional show and of course I dedicated it to her,” she told AFP backstage after the show at Paris’s Grand Palais.

“It’s really been an honour to know Gaby over these last few years and I’m just hugely proud to be part of her story of the house,” she said.

“She was just an incredible force. She stood for femininity, she challenged things… she was really free spirited,” she added.

Born in 1921 to a wealthy family of intellectuals in Egypt, Aghion was influenced early on by her fashion-forward mother, who had a seamstress make the family’s clothes based on styles seen in magazines.

Much of Waight Keller’s spring/summer 2015 collection has a 70s feel to it.

The collection featured a range of long, flowing semi-transparent dresses in bold colours such as rust and yellow.

Others dresses in denim and navy — as well as skirts, shorts and jumpsuits — used oversized pockets to achieve a masculine-utilitarian look.

“It was really about natural ease, nothing pretend, just real rough, raw freshness,” she said.

Aghion co-founded Chloe in 1952 with business partner Jacques Lenoir, taking the name from her girlfriend Chloe Huysmans.

The fashion house was one of the first labels to offer high-quality ready-to-wear, and became known for its laid-back elegance.

Several designers recruited by Aghion for Chloe became high-wattage stars in their own right, starting with Karl Lagerfeld, whom she named the head designer in 1966, and where he remained until 1984.

Aghion sold her holdings in Chloe in 1985 to the Richemont luxury group, but remained faithful to the fashion house, attending nearly every catwalk show during the Paris season.

Last December she received the Legion of Honour, France’s highest distinction, attending the ceremony in a wheelchair.

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