What is one supposed to think when the invitation to a Parisian fashion show contains a plastic ring with large googley eyes? I’m pretty sure my boys had novelties like this back when they were still small enough to carry by their jumper straps. Stella McCartney always has a rather star-studded audience and it was quite humorous to see pictures coming from the front row of celebrities playing with the rings. Backstage, even supermodel Miranda Kerr, who would later open the show, got into the act brushing her hair in front of her face and then donning a pair of the sunglasses based on the novelty ring.
From the moment Ms. Kerr first set foot on the runway, I began hearing, and seeing via Twitter, words like “practical” and “pragmatic” and then “pretty” and “pithy.” Involuntary alliteration aside, while all those adjectives are true I think they miss the point. The word that best describes this collection is playful, in the sense of it feels a child rummaging through their parents’ closet.
Consider, on one hand, there are the masculine pieces, with well-tailored jackets and pressed trousers worn with a t-shirt. How many times have we seen Ms. McCartney’s famous father, who was also sitting front row, in that exact same outfit? At the same time, there were delicate and shiny daisy print dresses, and lingerie styled tops heavy with lace in the most feminine of silhouettes, a touch from Mum’s side of the closet. And throughout the show, just to keep it all light, are those shades, reminding us that fashion should be fun, much like it was when we were playing dress up as children.
Not that there aren’t some serious pieces to the collection. The organza dresses with crocodile print are instant classics. Sportswear inspired trim scattered here and there, a touch borrowed from Prada, is inspired. Long tunic tops over satin-banded skirts are quietly seductive. Lace racer back dresses with flowing skirts have red carpet written all over them.
Still, for all its common-sense wearability, Stella McCartney has produced a collection for spring/summer 2014 that is meant to inject a smile and a but of happiness to one’s wardrobe. Grab yourself of googley-eyed shades and have some fun.