Paris: Along with Celine’s Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon has become a champion of the back-to-basics movement that has taken hold in fashion today. As Philo’s former assistant during her tenure at Chloé, it’s not surprising that she and MacGibbon share a similar aesthetic. The subtle difference in their work is mostly in the design details: MacGibbon tends toward understated adornments like jabots and beading, as opposed to Philo’s ultra-clean, minimalist work. This season’s Chloé collection featured the sophisticated separates that MacGibbon introduced last season, even remaining in the same palette of mauve and camel. Rust tones were a rich addition for the colder months. Long-sleeved shift dresses and high-waisted wide-leg trousers were ready-made for the fashionable working woman’s wardrobe, and knit pieces like turtlenecks and harem-esque pants had an easy yet sophisticated feeling. Subtle references to the Southwest appeared with tan suede cowboy boots and leather fringe for rounded pants that looked like chaps. Although MacGibbon’s past few collections have felt right for the moment, they are so closely related to Philo’s that they begin to feel almost derivative. The designer would do well to take a slight step away from Philo’s style and work on developing her own voice.
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