‘The idea was to take our woman from being precision to being undone,’ said Stella McCartney after her show. She’d been looking at the boy-girl tailoring that her brand always offers and working out how to ‘unravel it’. ‘It’s quite a gentle collection; a bit country with a real, natural element to it,’ she said of the felted wools and brushed tweeds that opened the show, in coats that wrapped the body and big slouchy knits that slipped off shoulders.
Any sharpening up came with her take on the ‘everyday corset’, but not of the laced or sexual persuasion – these were tailored in light wool and worn over pale shirts with loose or high-waisted trousers. Corsets returned for evening – again with loose, hipster trousers – but with the demure blouses removed, naked collarbones were accentuated with a twisting coil of pearls. ‘It’s an interesting area of fashion – evening – because it’s so personal and it’s so important as a woman to get it right, to reflect who you are.’
As the fashion world’s staunchest vegetarian, it was a surprise to see fur – even fake fur – on her runway. She said she’d canvased opinion and decided there was a real need for a fur alternative. ‘I’ve avoided it for many years but I wanted to show the customer and the fashion industry that you really don’t need to use [real] fur anymore. You can’t tell the difference with it on the runway.’ The synthetic yarn provided huge coats that looked as soft as clouds. However, so concerned was she that the fake stuff looked too real, each garment will carry a label on the outside (at the nape of the neck or on a sleeve) saying, ‘Fur-Free Fur’. So, as Stella put it, ‘You can walk down the street and not feel like people are going to judge you.’
Fashion that looks as good as this, and has a conscience. If only more designers in the industry would follow her lead.