With her label in rude health, Paris fashion week show adopts a greatest hits approach – but if that sounds dull, it wasn’t The disconnect between the invitations to Stella McCartney’s shows and the tone of the show itself has long been acknowledged by insiders at Paris fashion week. This season’s – a digital display with the word “invites” flashing across the screen – is pure silliness. Monday’s event, on the other hand, was a serious business. While the show notes talked about “sensual with a sense of humour and a tomboy side” the collection worked on that classic commercial adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The latest financial results for McCartney’s brand, for the year ending 2014, saw profits in the UK rise by 22.7%. So, for her autumn/winter 2016 collection, the designer took something of a greatest hits approach, touching on all the things her customers buy season after season: trouser suits, oversized coats, cosy chic knitwear and the kind of evening wear that does not require three hours in hair and makeup. If that sounds boring, it wasn’t. This was one of the strongest McCartney collections in recent seasons. The midnight blue velvet trouser suit with tulle inset across the shoulders was a lovely conceit, as were rust-coloured slip dresses with long pleated metallic skirts. High-waisted flared trousers, a bleached denim shirt dress and juicy puffa gilets had an easy coolness that McCartney could patent. Jumpers with frilled edges and a swan print played into a sort of retro whimsy currently in vogue. In the front row, McCartney’s latest “squad” included Amber Valletta, Kristin Scott Thomas, the singer Petite Meller, and Kenya Kinski-Jones, model and animal rights activist. This was a modern collection, sympathetic to how most women live now. Perhaps this could be put down to McCartney’s continual ability to translate her own lifestyle as a mother and businesswoman into the clothes she creates. She said as much backstage – the effortless evening wear was down to her interest in “day to night”. She added: “I don’t want to have to change.” Paul McCartney among his daughter’s front row ‘squad’. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images In line with her rosy profits, expansion is on the cards for McCartney. New stores opened in the US and Dubai last year. She will design the Adidas kit for Team GBto wear at the Rio Olympics in June; replicas of her London 2012 kit were the most successful ever for the brand. It has been suggested that the designer’s next project will be to expand to menswear, with the first collection for spring 2017. No wonder the latest collection was a celebration, as the designer noted backstage, of what defines theStella McCartney brand. Elsewhere on Monday, Sacai, the label designed by Chitose Abe that has a cult following in the front row, also played with brand memes in its Monday show. There were parkas, sweaters with holes in odd places and a colour palette in the shades of school uniforms: bottle green, claret and navy. Some pieces – belted cropped shearling jackets and printed pleated midi skirts – would no doubt please the fans in the audience, but devoré velvet and parkas embroidered with patches usually found on school blazers felt a bit fussy. Walking the line between clothes that both appeal to an established customer base, and move things on, isn’t always easy. Source of article: theguardian.com