Review: The Chloé Faye
Alongside Gucci, Chloé have been killing the fashion game lately. The Faye and the more recent Nile Bracelet have reached It bag status.
Fashion icons everywhere flocked to Instagram to début their latest Chloé piece, and I can’t really blame them.
Released in the Spring Summer 2015 collection, the Faye combines a relaxed, seventies vibe with clean, modern lines – and it works beautifully. I can’t predict if it will become a classic, or if it will fall by the wayside like the once popular Paddington. But I fell for it, and decided to make it the pride of my wardrobe.
I decided on the small one because I’ve always favoured the practicality of messenger bags. Plus shoulder bags always seem to fall off, and I’m yet to find one that feels comfortable. (Note the irony of me wearing it on my shoulder.)
Now I’ll admit I bought this over a year ago. But because it’s still available direct from Chloé, I thought a review would help any of you who are yet to succumb to It bag fever.
As you can see it’s an essentials-only bag. If you need to carry your laptop or tablet, the Medium Faye is equally beautiful (as a pineapple enthusiast I’m obsessed with this version). The interior is lined in beige suede calfskin, with one roomy compartment and two small ones. Here’s what I put in mine when I take it out, and this fills it up to near capacity.
As someone who likes to travel light day-to-day, this bag is the perfect size. The flap and chain make it easy to dive in and out, plus the flap gives you that extra level of security. (It has a magnetic closure, and compared to bags with an open-top or an undone zip, it’s a lot harder for unwanted hands to get into.)
Originally I wanted it in Motty Grey. Grey is very in right now and goes with everything. But from a practical point of view, I would be paranoid about it showing the slightest mark or scratch. So I got it in the darker Merino Grey. This colour is now discontinued, but Chloé have released so many colours since I got mine that you’re sure to find one you love.
Mine – and most other small Fayes – is made from smooth calfskin with a suede calfskin flap. I love the sight contrast in colours and the suede gives it such a classy finish.
Initially I was unsure about the colour, but for over a year it’s been my go-to bag – so I guess you could say it’s grown on me. I was mistaken that it wouldn’t be as versatile as the Motty Grey, and I’ve worn it with nearly everything in my wardrobe. Plus it’s the perfect transition bag: by day I sling it across my shoulder and let the chain jingle along. By night, I like to tuck the strap inside and use it as a clutch. (Doing this compromises on inside space, but that just encourages me to travel light.)
To me, the ring loop with the hook and chain is such a fun, yet elegant addition. The hook has a silver finish while the loop and chain is in pale gold. I read on the PurseForum that some people expected the hook to come off, but unfortunately the hinge isn’t big enough to unhook. This might not appeal to some because it means moving the chain to the side to open it, but personally it doesn’t bother me. It also jingles as you walk which could also be an unattractive feature – but again, that’s personal preference.
The thing I love most about this bag is how understated it is. The logo is so discrete that passersby wouldn’t notice it. The beauty of the design speaks for itself, without having to scream ‘Designer’ or ‘Expensive’. I don’t want to make any predictions, but I think it’s going to age well.
As for wear and tear, that’s a slight issue for me. I love this bag but I would never take it out in the rain. The suede is just too delicate. Plus I’ve noticed that the front logo has darkened a little. This is because my thumb sits there when I open the flap (giving the suede some lovely finger oils). I’ve managed to remove most of the discolouration with some gentle rubbing from a suede brush. But it’s something I need to be aware of when I’m touching it.
Another thing is the leather. It’s incredibly plush to the touch. (I love touching it. Is that weird?) But with that comes a downside. This velvety finish is done by sanding the leather, which makes it quite fragile. It also means that when you try to wipe it with so much as a non-alcoholic baby wipe, you will get colour transfer. So if you want this bag to last, you have to be mindful where you set it down, and aware of things like sticky fingers. To be blunt, it’s not a hardwearing bag.
If you want a bag that gives you longevity without having to worry about it, I wouldn’t recommend this bag. But to me, its design and elegance outweighs its frailness. I love it, and I hope I’ll use it for many seasons to come. (Cue romantic photo of me and the bag.)
If you have a Faye or are thinking of getting one, I’d love to hear your thoughts.