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“The interior of the house must be white, but in order to make this white stand out, a multitude of colors must be carefully applied…”
– Le Corbusier
As Resort pieces trickle into boutiques this month, I am reminded to write about my visit in June to Milk Studios to view Chloe’s 2015 Resort collection during Market. I have long been a fan of Chloe and as an interior designer I was delighted to learn that architecture inspired Creative Director Clare Waight Keller’s vision for this upcoming collection. You often hear of fashion inspiring interiors but not so often do you hear the contrary. It was a visit to one of modern architecture’s iconic buildings, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in the town of Poissy that influenced this effortlessly luxe collection of loose and flowing separates, vivid hued dresses and covetable handbags.
Admiring this collection instigated a refresher of my learnings from design history on this influential building. Le Corbusier, born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in 1887, aka Corb, was a Swiss born French artist, writer and architect and one of the founders of the Purism Movement. Built between 1928 and 1931, Villa Savoye is one in a series of houses he built and most succinctly represents the 5 principles he established for modern architecture: the pilotis (reinforced concrete stilts), open floor plan, long horiztonal ribbon windows, rooftop garden and an open facade.
Chloe’s 2015 Resort lookbook was shot on location at the Villa in the outskirts of Paris. For the Milk Studios presentation Keller brought the architectural backdrop to New York City by choosing to use the exact paint colors that Corb himself used. During his time as a painter/architect, Le Corbusier developed 81 colors (view all the colors here). Le Corbusier developed a color theory carefully choosing specific shades based on their qualities to either “suppress or magnify” architectural elements. “The interior of the house must be white, but in order to make this white stand out, a multitude of colors must be carefully applied…”¹ His paints are now produced by kt.Color, a Swiss manufacturer of fine paint that only uses raw natural pigments, mimicking the way these paints were produced during Corb’s times.
I found it fascinating to study how Keller translated the architectural elements — the angular and horizontal lines of the building are now geometric patterns and stripes found on the billowy tops and wrap skirts while the curved walls and staircases turn into movement and fluidity in the garments’ silhouettes. Most evident are the colors through the house which are seen throughout the collection: the contrast of black and white in the gorgeous mink coat I had the chance to try and on the fringed and striped blouses; the emerald green on the exterior walls in the green belted pants, striped sweater and lace dress; the deep ultramarine blue in the wrap dresses, skirts and coats with exaggerated collars; and the salmon pink walls in the coat that is now top of my wishlist.
¹ source: Foundation Le Corbusier