As the Fashion Programmer for Melobourne’s inaugural Fashion Festival, Chloe Naughton is no stranger to a good outfit. But in recent times, the local style savant has traded workwear and city-dressing for the street-style necessary to grab a take-home Negroni. While MFF isn’t making a comeback until March 2022, Chloe’s kept occupied with pre-planning and designer scouting, putting in the groundwork for a return to real-life runways in the promising new year.
In retrospect, Chloe’s 2021 has cast some magnificent moments, especially — and unsurprisingly — when it comes to those denoting love. Her intimate wedding took place in a beloved Northside bar, between stop-and-start lockdowns. The sliding doors ceremony caught our eyes on Instagram, featuring the kind of inspiration everyone is craving for celebrations ahead
The local style savant has traded workwear and city-dressing for the street-style necessary to grab a take-home Negroni
Here, Chloe kindly details the minutiae of the day, documenting the local designer behind her gown and a beautiful “less is more approach”. It’s a heartwarmingly humble (yet exceedingly elegant) display of togetherness for the muse board.
In this timely check-in with Harrolds, The “uniform dresser” shares her current wardrobe mainstays, and expert advice on uncovering the best in the cultural cornucopia that is Melbourne. Take note, as Chloe (and the city) gears up to get back to the marrow of what brings her joy: dining out, dressing up, loving large and putting on a show.
Tell us, what does your outfitting look like as we enter Melbourne’s soft-launch of spring-summer?
As we move into the warmer months, I’m being drawn to wear lightweight tailored trousers paired with an oversized button up shirt and an open toe leather sandal. Then swapping and changing between shades, fabrics and patterns within my wardrobe and maybe adding a cross body bag, sunglasses or a hat to complete the look.I am also looking to add more maxi dresses, I’m really loving the elegance of a floor length, yet casual dress for this spring/summer. It’s the elegant but casual look that is ultimately so comfortable.
Something else I am really being drawn to which is new for me is silk sets. Silk pants or shorts with a matching silk shirt, an ensemble. I saw a great set on Versace’s SS22 runway at Milan Fashion Week recently.
Let us in on your rough weekday agenda right now. What goes on between fashion festivals in your role as MFF’s fashion programmer?
We are a very small but mighty team, and I am very fortunate to have some incredible co-workers who could move mountains. There are so many moving parts that create Melbourne Fashion Festival and it keeps us busy all year round. In short, we spend about 6 months conceptualising and planning. And about 6 months implementing and actioning. We are really excited to be back again in 2022 from 3-12 March with live events, it’s the light at the end of this tunnel that we are all needing. My focus for now is around the designers that we are going to showcase. I am about to embark on the part of my job that I love the most, curating and selecting the designers for the live runways.
And how about the weekends? Give us some of your lockdown local spots for:
A canned cocktail? Napier Quarter for their take-home Negroni’s. It’s become a lockdown tradition for my husband and me.
Something decadent for a special lunch or dinner grab? We have treated ourselves to a few fancy at home meals. Our favourites have been Tipo 00, Hazel and Supernormal. However, a weekend go-to for us is Capitano in Carlton. Their vodka sauce dish is delicious.
Picnicking? Carlton Gardens, we go every few days. It’s so beautiful there and the whole garden has so much to offer.
What are some of the things on your Harrolds dream list for when we officially reopen?
Top of my Harrolds dream list for this summer season is Christopher Esber’s Rib Dress, stunning new season Valextra Mini Iside Bag in green militar I am absolutely lusting over, MACH & MACH Crystal Bow Black Satin heels and a pair of CELINE Oval Tortoiseshell Sunglasses.
What do you miss the most about fashion in a liberated Melbourne?
There are so many things. I miss dressing for all the occasions. Not just special occasions and events, but everyday occasions. Packing for a weekend away, a birthday picnic, a long lunch, visiting local galleries, dinner and cocktails on a Friday night something as simple as Cinema Nova for a weekday evening movie. I miss both the freedoms of being able to enjoy these simple pleasures and the joy of dressing for each occasion.
First art gallery, specialty store or other self-indulgent place you’ll visit once we can go out?
And the instant outdoor dining reservation you’re making?
How have you dressed differently over the last few months? What are your wardrobe mainstays that have been getting the most action?
I have always been a uniform dresser for as long as I can remember. I think I just find it easier to get dressed every day from items in my “high rotation rack”. During these last few months, I have still been waking up and getting dressed every morning, despite the lockdowns. My wardrobe mainstays are my blue denim straight leg jeans, loafers and ballet flats and a blazer. Worn with a simple high neck round t-shirt or a button up shirt. I am still currently leaving the house with my black ankle length woollen coat over the top, however I am looking to swap this for my oversized cotton trench once the weather heats up.
You pulled off the most elegant, intimate wedding earlier this year. What was the process like of orchestrating the Big Day during such an unpredictable time in Melbourne?
04.05.2021 was the day we were lucky enough to get married. It was the wedding we had always dreamed of and in a way, we are glad that it all came together exactly how it did. Celebrating such a special night with a small handful of friends and family. In one of our favourite local wine bars, Bar Liberty. Our plans came together at the very last minute. Down to us walking past Vasette on Brunswick Street on the morning of our wedding and asking if they could put together a bouquet for me. I think it was one of those things that there wasn’t any time to overthink or over plan. It was everything we could have hoped for even though we had no idea what to expect from the night.
What did you wear on the day (head to toe) and why?
While the plans for the day came together very fast, the dress was pre-planned well before we even had a date set. I am so thankful that local and independent Melbourne designer Kalaurie agreed to make the dress of my dreams. Australian brands make up most for my wardrobe and I wanted the dress for my wedding day to be no different. I really admire Kalaurie’s ethos and approach to making garments and it felt incredibly special to have her bespoke creation made just for me. I paired my dress with some simple Chanel slingbacks, a vintage pair of Tiffany diamond earrings that were loaned to me and my grandmother’s pearl necklace that was given to her when she was 21. I wanted to keep things simple yet elegant and timeless.
What made the wedding so special in lieu of typical knot-tying hallmarks (like a massive guest list or a honeymoon etc etc)?
Everything about our wedding is what made it so special, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. ‘Less is More’ was the approach.
Who are some local Australian creatives you’re in awe of right now?
I’m really loving Oigåll Projects on Gertrude Street. They have had some incredible exhibitions including Ami Morris, House Editions and Annika Kafcaloudis. The only way to see the exhibitions through the lockdown is by walking past and looking through the windows, which has been a great lockdown activity, but I can’t wait until we can go inside again.
And some small-scale designers we might not have heard of yet?