This October, the Jewish Museum will introduce ‘”Mood of the Moment: Gaby Aghion and the house of Chloé”, an exhibition describing the life and design legacy of Chloé founder Gaby Aghion. This exhibition is believed to bring a new light on the label’s 70-year history with nearly 150 garments as well as never-before-exhibited sketches and documents from the Chloé Archive.
Gaby Aghion, the founder of the French fashion house Chloé, build a bold trail for female entrepreneurship. In 1952, the French market was experienced the physical and financial constraints of haute couture and the ubiquitous (and often bad) dressmaker copies worn by many women. Witnessing that situation, Aghion established Chloé to offer original, modern, elegant, well-made garments in high-quality fabrics and free women from the rigid designs of the time.
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Instead of presenting the earliest designs at the exclusive salons of fashion houses, Aghion chose to display her earliest designs at fashion shows staged in the cafés of the Saint Germain area of Paris. Such approaches made Chloé known as new kind of luxury that spoke to modern women, manifesting elegance, simplicity, and comfort.
During her whole career, Aghion’s contribution liberated women, from restrictive attitudes and styles of the time. She is also responsible for pioneering the luxury ready-to-wear market.
Honouring Gaby Aghion
“Mood of the Moment: Gaby Aghion and the House of Chloé” is set to premiere at the Jewish Museum. fIt is running from October 13, 2023, through February 18, 2024. This is the first major museum exhibition exploring Chloé, or its founder. It is appearing in New York City.
The Jewish Museum director, Claudia Gloud says
“Very few people appear to know that Gaby was Jewish or as much about her incredible life and entrepreneurship as they should… As soon as I heard the Gaby Aghion story, I wanted us to celebrate it.”
“In many ways, as the title of the show suggest, she was very good at capturing the zeitgeist of the moment she was living in. But she was more than that. She was a visionary, with a powerful view of women that was very different from the prevailing view at the time”.
A Pioneer of Women’s Fashion
The exhibition shows us private sketches and documents from the Chloé archive. We also have the chance to view works by industry stars that launched their careers at the brand. These include Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo.
Riccardo Belli, the chief executive of Chloé explains that,
“She is a true believer in empowering and uplifting women to positively influence the industry and society at large …
describing the considerable impact of Gaby Aghion on the fashion industry. He goes on to state that,
the Jewish Museum gives us the wonderful opportunity to honour and commemorate Gabi’s heritage with our continued house’s beliefs and values”.
While considered a pioneer of women’s fashion and dress, Aghion appears in the same uniform for decades. A black skirt with a waistcoat and a silk blouse in soft colours. By doing this, Aghion aims to remind us of the Egyptian sands. This signature style of Aghion manifests thru 50 iterations of the iconic Chloé blouse from across the brand’s history.
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