The exhibition opened last week at the Jewish Museum, traversing the French house’s many eras and highlighting its easy elegance

Last week, Mood of the moment opened at the Jewish Museum—delving into the archives of the house of Chloé, centering the prowess of its visionary founder Gaby Aghion. Looking back on the label’s storied 70 years, the exhibition features never-before-seen sketches and nearly 150 garments, created by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo.

Left: Gaby Aghion in the desert near Alexandria, Egypt, photographed by Raymond Aghion, ca. 1940–45. Courtesy Philippe Aghion and Chloé Archive, Paris. Right: Chloé spring–summer 1960 fashion show at Brasserie Lipp, November 25, 1959, at 9:45 a.m. Courtesy Chloé Archive, Paris.

The show situates Aghion at the base of a still-branching family tree, wielding an eye for talent that would launch the careers of some of fashion’s most iconic names. The founder—born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1921 to a Jewish family—was inspired by French culture, eventually moving to Paris with her husband, and establishing a label that was trailblazing in its focus on ready-to-wear over the dominant formality of haute couture. “Such approaches made Chloé known for a kind of luxury that spoke to modern women,” states the museum, “embodying the Parisian bourgeois bohème spirit of refined effortlessness.”

Installation view of Mood of the moment: Gaby Aghion and the house of Chloé at the Jewish Museum, NY, October 13, 2023-February 18, 2024. Photo by Dario Lasagni. Image courtesy the Jewish Museum, NY.

The show is largely organized chronologically, detailing each of Chloé’s distinct eras—but across it all, one core tenet remains: “Each subsequent creative director uniquely interpreted the [house’s] ethos and echoed the needs of their time,” from Lagerfeld’s easy silk dresses, to Gabriela Hearst’s sustainable practices. The exhibition wraps up on a full-circle moment: a room displaying around 50 versions of the Chloé blouse, a garment made and remade in Aghion’s forever vision—simple elegance, effortless luxury, paying mind to the mood of the moment.

Mood of the moment: Gaby Aghion and the house of Chloé is on view at the Jewish Museum through February 18.