The Next Bri­tish in­va­sion

Stella Mc­cart­ney’s clothes are a favourite with cool girls the world over. Now she’s de­sign­ing for dudes, too.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - STYLE - Words by john Von sothen DE­SIGNER

Most celebrity in­ter­views fit a cer­tain tem­plate. They are po­lite. Guarded. Brief. Per­func­tory. Stella Mc­cart­ney’s hav­ing none of that shit.

Be­fore I even start record­ing, she’s snug­gled on a ban­quette, flip­ping through a look­book of her lat­est col­lec­tion. For the next 45 min­utes, we sit and point and laugh and talk while the pages turn. It doesn’t feel like an in­ter­view— more like two teenagers check­ing out al­bum cov­ers.

Stella wouldn’t have it any other way. Her Bea­tle dad and pho­tog­ra­pher mum taught her that Mc­cart­neys shine when they’re at their most nat­u­ral. And she has a lot to say. Her first fall menswear col­lec­tion is about to drop, her sec­ond out­ing af­ter a spring de­but last year. Her pre­vi­ous out­put was al­most ex­clu­sively for women: She was the Cre­ative Di­rec­tor at French fash­ion house Chloé and, in 2001, started her epony­mous line, which caters to a sexy, sporty, eco-con­scious cus­tomer—the kind of woman who wants the lat­est It bag but de­mands it in ve­gan leather.

Her new col­lec­tion—full of Sav­ile

Row–in­spired tai­lor­ing and rock ’n’ roll ac­cents—should at­tract that cus­tomer’s male coun­ter­part. We start talk­ing about the clothes and the in­spi­ra­tion, much of which came from Dad’s clos­ets, Mum’s photos, and her own mem­o­ries of both of them while grow­ing up. And that’s when I grasp why courage and cre­ativ­ity go hand in hand for her. The truly fear­less, she’s learned, are the ones will­ing to strike out and be them­selves. Even if their dad is a Bea­tle.

Esquire: This col­lec­tion feels very nos­tal­gic. Are you chan­nelling your dad? Stella Mc­cart­ney: My dad’s wardrobe is def­i­nitely part of this, but it’s also about an at­ti­tude. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the way my par­ents wore clothes for other peo­ple, but more for them­selves. My col­lec­tion is an homage to them in a way—in­ject­ing a bit of fear­less­ness into things.

ESQ: Do you call him up and ask, “Dad, what were you wear­ing when. . .”? SM: Luck­ily, my her­itage is well doc­u­mented. I just have to Google him, and I have ac­cess to his ar­chive of clothes. And my mother was a pho­tog­ra­pher, so I have a lot of amaz­ing per­sonal stuff that no­body’s seen. But this col­lec­tion has many in­flu­ences.

ESQ: Like what else? SM: I stud­ied on Sav­ile Row for years, so a lot of the col­lec­tion was in­spired by Bri­tish tai­lor­ing—we’re work­ing with fa­mil­iar fab­rics but try­ing to make them un­fa­mil­iar in a sense. And mu­sic is a big part of it. There are gen­er­a­tions of mu­sic in this col­lec­tion.

ESQ: Does it in­ter­sect with your women’s line? SM: I plucked out some of the things from wom­enswear and in­tro­duced them into the men’s arena. I don’t see a mas­sive dif­fer­ence be­tween what men and women want out of their wardrobe.

ESQ: And there’s no an­i­mal skin here, right? SM: There’s noth­ing made with leather. We’re a mod­ern-day house that doesn’t sac­ri­fice lux­ury and style just be­cause we’ve re­placed me­dieval ma­te­ri­als.

ESQ: What do you hope to give guys with these clothes? SM: The men on my in­spi­ra­tion boards, they’re punchy. They stand out. I ask my­self: Why were these guys able to wear those clothes then? Why did my dad wear a silk blouse? When did men lose that? I want to give men bril­liant tai­lor­ing, but at the same time I’ll give them some­thing with a sense of hu­mor, or some­thing ridicu­lous, and that works! That’s our ap­proach to menswear—not to be con­ven­tional.

This glen plaid suit from Mc­cart­ney’s lat­est col­lec­tion echoes her fa­ther’s tai­lor­ing from the early ’70s (right): double-breasted, with wide lapels and lots of swag­ger. Jacket, shirt and trousers, all by Stella Mc­cart­ney.

A bold col­lar, patch pock­ets and cuff de­tails amp up a clas­sic camel coat, While Mc­cart­ney’s ve­gan leather bags prove you don’t have to sac­ri­fice style for ethics. Coat, cardi­gan, shirt, trousers and shoes, all by Stella Mc­cart­ney; socks by Pan­therella (above). Bag by Stella Mc­cart­ney; sweater by Inis Meáin; scarf by Begg & Co. (be­low).

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