Evening Standard - ES Magazine
It’s all about the return of glamour this winter. And Stella McCartney is putting ethics at its heart, the designer tells Hannah Tindle
At Paris Fashion Week in September, Stella McCartney presented her own celebratory take on full-frontal, Y2K glamour. Notably, it referenced the British designer’s late-1990s tenure at the French fashion house Chloé, and the fledgling days of the eponymous brand she founded in 2001. There were cutouts perforating low-slung waistbands; nipple-baring tops crafted solely from gold chains that riffed on those from Chloé’s Spring/Summer 2000 collection, most memorably first worn on the runway with white denim cut-offs by the supermodel Amber Valletta (who walked again in this show); handkerchief hemlines, halter necks and oodles of crystal and diamanté all paired with fishnet stockings and skimpy white tank tops.
With a thumping soundtrack curated by London-based musician Tyson McVey, daughter of Neneh Cherry, it was clear that McCartney was gearing up for a no-holds-barred season of going out-out next spring and summer.
Happily, there’s no need to wait until then the for glamming-up to begin. McCartney’s latest capsule collection with luxury fashion e-tailer My theresa is conceived with this winter’s festivities in mind. ‘Our capsule celebrates a return to glamour,’ McCartney says. ‘People are ready to put away their trackies and get dressed up again — I certainly know I am!’
In the beneficent spirit of giving the people what they want, this seven-piece edit features floor-length gowns and mini cocktail dresses with sheer mesh inserts in shades of absinthe green, hot pink and black, and a spaghetti-strap slip dress rendered entirely in crystal.
‘We always have our Stella woman in mind and at heart. She is ageless, with an effortless style and a playful sense of humour,’ says the designer. ‘She is mindful and wants to make more conscious choices in her life, and I truly believe this capsule speaks to her aesthetic and values — with sexy, sensual dresses crafted from forest-friendly viscose that’s kinder to Mother Earth.’
This is stylish, high-shine hedonism without the guilt. Much like her late mother, Linda, McCartney has long been staunchly dedicated to environmentalism, which runs in her own, and her brand’s, DNA. Every piece is free from fur, feather and leather; and McCartney is tireless in her quest for the latest innovations in sustainable practices. ‘Never stop questioning everything and do not accept the status quo; just because something is done one way does not mean it cannot be done better,’ she says. ‘I am so proud to be part of a conscious luxury movement that is innovating cruelty-free alternatives to animal leather such as Mylo, which is made from mycelium, the root-like structures of fungi,’ explains McCartney, who recently released the world’s first-ever commercially available bag made from the material.
However critical her environmental cause, these clothes never lack joie de vivre. Seamlessly applying the ‘buy less, buy better’ ethos to the act of dressing up, you wouldn’t know that the collection contains fibres made from wood pulp derived from responsibly managed forests; or that the crystals on that spaghetti-strapped mini are totally lead-free. What could be better than a wardrobe of beautiful and ethical clothes that you’ll want to party in for years to come? The message is ‘buy greener, party harder’. The Stella McCartney x My theresa capsule launches on 2 November, prices from £1,075 (mytheresa.com)