Remembering Chloé fall 2006

There are a handful of fashion shows I’ll always feel very nostalgic about: for instance, Rodarte’s Spring 2008 show with spiderweb stockings and spiked heels; Prada’s show of the same season with hand-painted fairies on sheer tulle; McQueen’s spring 2003 collection with the iconic oyster dress; and Miu Miu’s 2011 mid-century throwback collection with wide shoulders, tiny waists, and swallow prints. Among these shows ranks Chloé’s fall 2006 collection – which despite its bad reception, has always remained a personal favorite.

The 2006 Chloé fall ready-to-wear show was not well-remembered or well-regarded in fashion history. Phoebe Philo had just left the label and, with no head designer, the show was put together by committee. When laid out side-by-side, the looks of the collection are admittedly lacking in color, shape, and intrigue.

This wool dress and these shoes were the second look in the Chloé runway show, modeled by Snejana Onopka. When I saw the dress on Vestiaire, having already owned the shoes, I knew I had to have it. The wide silhouette makes it easy to throw on over shirts and skirts; it’s really more of a coat. And I love the pleating and epaulets around the shoulders.
But despite the collection’s lack of popularity among the high priests of fashion, fashion laymen loved it. The wooden sky-high platforms that Sarah Mower, fashion critic and author of Chloé Attitudes, called “clunky bottines” were seen all over magazines, editorials, and party photo blogs. (Remember Lastnightsparty?) Despite being the shoe responsible for Jessica Stam’s infamous runway tumble, the high leather booties were incredibly comfortable – a chunky, wooden heel with a cleverly-hidden wooden platform made them easy to walk in.

Indeed, the clunky 2006 fall Chloé shoe, perhaps modeled off of Philo’s wooden platforms from the previous spring season, are still very remembered in all their variations – buckled, optional laces, light brown, dark brown, even patent black. For years after, Jeffrey Campbell peddled the horsey (and frankly, more famous) Lita pump, an oft-compared copy with none the nuance of design.

As soon as I saw these Chloé shoes, I knew I had to have them. I still have the Yoox receipt from 2008 – my sister helped me purchase them for Christmas several seasons later on clearance. I still wear them occasionally – ten years after they made their runway debut. And I still stalk the other models from the collection on resale sites.

But it wasn’t just the shoes that caught my attention; the dark, woolen, minimal cool-girl-news-boy clothing has always resonated with me. The muted palette and simply-layered elements called to mind the “mori girl” (forest girl) fashion movement in Japan.

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Chloe fall 2006 shoes