It's not a Stella McCartney show without pinning an Olympic event to its ergonomic sleeves. And that's a sport taken by us the press rather than Stella the designer it would seem.

'Everyone's going to try and bring in an Olympic touch' said Team GB's costumier backstage of our reference to a gymnast perhaps in those leotard sleeves and tight bun hairstyles? 'It wasn't intentional but now that you say it... I always have a language of sport even if I don't realise I do until you lot come backstage and tell me I do.'

For autumn winter 2012 McCartney fused English countryside tweeds and tufted knitwear with urban architectural forms and double bonded satin. So mannish, moulded coats with Savile Row techniques are merged with the sports field by way of a collegiate shawl collar or cornflower blue satin lining. 

Last season's popular paisley print, worn out in force at today's show in homage, is replaced with damask jacquards embossed or imprinted on blazers and crepe dresses. What's really changed however is the silhouette. Those body-hugging hourglass panel dresses of past collections, a hit on the red carpet from body types either wanting to appear curvier or slimmer and miraculously achieving both, were nowhere to be seen. Instead fabric skimmed the body, flaring at the skirt or stiffly moulded around the hips for a 3D effect. 'There's only so many times you can send out skin-tight silhouettes' McCartney said, 'so for us it was about moving forward. We wanted to mould the body more this season'. 

McCartney's balanced way to dress offers just relaxed enough eveningwear and just dressy enough daywear. Most of us may never achieve the city-dwelling week, country weekend life she designs for so beautifully but that's what aspirational fashion is for. With this collection we'll buy in to the modern dream and strike gold. 

 
 
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