Archivist’s third issue (actually its fourth) marks the historic unveiling of a new archive at Maison Chloé. This collaboration with Archivist is the first time the house has given access to more than five decades of its history.
The archive is full of multiples. Multiple references, multiples designed (a trompe l’oeil jacket on a hanger, embroidered on the back of a jacket), and so important in the history of the fashion house – the multiple designers who have so significantly contributed to its reputation: Gaby Aghion, Gérard Pipart, Maxime de la Falaise, Christiane Bailly, Tan Giudicelli, Michèle Rosier, Graziella Fontana, Guy Paulin, Philippe Guibourgé, Peter O’Brien, Luciano Soprani, Carlos Rodriguez, Martine Sitbon, Yvan Mispelaere, Paulo Melim Andersson, Hannah MacGibbon and, of course, those designers whose work dominates the archive – Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Clare Waight Keller, and looking ahead to Natacha Ramsay-Levi.
There is something about Chloé's founder, Gaby Aghion, who passed away at the age of 93 in 2014, that makes what comes after her so compelling. She was on the side of women’s idiosyncrasies, and their freedom to pursue whatever it was that they desired. ‘Embrun’, the name of one of her favourite designs, worn here by 19-year- old Australian model Jess Picton Warlow, means ‘the ne foam that is created by the force of the waves’.
The Archivist has a unique view of the fashion industry. Non-seasonal, it does not purport to sell its audience clothes; it prefers to showcase designers’ archives, important personal collections and new emerging talent. Founded in 2012 by Jane Howard and Michael Harrison, the multi-media project is not confined by format and takes no advertising. It is inspirational rather than aspirational and seeks to explore the cyclical nature of fashion; to change perceptions, reinterpret and present to a new generation.
"Archivist does not sell clothing, and it especially does not sell the new. What will unfold over the coming issues will be the different ways the past can be retrieved and celebrated and how various the ways are." -Professor Judith Clark