Stella McCartney’s soulful Northern Soul before Oprah Winfrey
Stella McCartney looked north for inspiration this season, the Northern Soul movement informing her collection, and her ecological commitment underpinning it.
Staged inside the Palais Garnier opera house, before a front row that boasted a rare appearance by Oprah Winfrey at the Paris show, to witness a bold fashion statement by McCartney in a co-ed collection.
Pre-show, Stella played recordings of people making commitments to pay for growing trees, part of her There She Grows campaign. “Daddy loves trees and he finances everything,” chirped one teenager.
The action kicked off with several broad shouldered coats, done in sturdy hues like Sienna red, bottle green or biscuit brown. Made in embroidered wools, hefty jacquards, or anthracite-covered felt, like the dashing coat worn by Natalia Vodianova.
McCartney has grown into a highly skilled draper, gathering material artfully, rouching subtly and gently dropping waistlines. Her clothes are always plausible but also pack punch, like her mannish Prince of Wales coat in contrasting grays and pinks. Utilitarian but very cool – such as the great khaki military knit with cowl and extra wide shoulders – ideal for little weekends of winter clubbing.
Her menswear impressed too; from a great opening salvo; a rock star in an enormous faux fur beaver coat, a Montana wildcatter’s fantasy, worn over a russet double-breasted coat, pants tucked into Wellington boots.
“This show is dedicated to everyone; and anyone who helped with There She Grows,” said Stella, in a mobbed backstage.
Adding to the eco mood, many looks were beautifully accessorized by artist Sheila Hicks, who created bulbous and twisting rope adornments that snaked around the torso, pretty “wearable works of art,” noted the program.
Plus, the British designer broke fashionably worthy new ground with her invitation. It was designed so that it would turn into compost when left in an industrial landfill.
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