Natacha Ramsay-Levi knows exactly what women aspire to look like. After all, the Parisian native — a longtime deputy to Nicholas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton— has proven to be a quite the wunderkind in the fashion world. After a decade as his right-hand, Ramsay-Levi has relinquished her role to succeed Clare Waight Keller as Creative Director at Chloé. Now, shortly after nailing her vision of the quintessential French woman for Chloé’s Spring/Summer 2018, she’ll be translating the same sensibility (and sensitivity) to her latest capsule collection with Net-A-Porter.
The 27-piece edit sees favourites from Ramsay-Levi’s portfolio that have already attained cult status despite only seeing the light of day for a few months. Designed for all occasions — not just the overtly pretty ones — the pieces speak to the modern woman in a way that Chloé didn’t previously. Urban edge is introduced to dresses and separates, where the usual whimsy and airiness are replaced with masculine silhouettes and impeccable tailoring.
In toying with the notion of new-age femininity, Ramsay-Levi also gives her famous Rylee boots the snakeskin treatment. The toughened look is accompanied with the same cutouts at the sides and ankle, only this time punctuated by a glossy red buckled strap — a colour that resonates throughout the Net-A-Porter capsule collection. Chloé’s beloved equestrian motif is borrowed from her debut ready-to-wear collection and honoured via an all-over galloping horse print — a reference to Stella McCartney’s influence on the brand in the late Nineties, when she notoriously brought sex, fun, and a rock ’n’ roll spirit to to the house’s gypset spirit.
Harnessing the same devil-may-care insouciance is a checked double-breasted blazer that’s belted loosely at the waist — a nod to power dressing in the ‘70s — and its matching checked wide-legged pants. Meanwhile, the Tess bag is now available in white leather and suede, and matched with gold finishings for a sophisticated take on the sell-out carrier.
The balance between retro and modernity is always at play in Ramsay-Levi’s mind, and therein lies the magic of her designs. Unlike Clare Waight Keller — who focused on crafting pieces that were a dream for vacations and special occasions, she had the everyday woman covered. Her pieces spoke to their femininity and strength simultaneously while effortless balancing between cool and chic — enviable traits that most Parisiennes seem to be born with — and with a fearless attitude towards dressing up (or down) in any way they desire. Only now, she’s managed to make it that much easier for the rest of us to dress like one of them — and that’s half the battle won.
The Chloé x Net-A-Porter collection is available available online at Net-A-Porter now.