Stella McCartney attracts a particular audience. A staunch vegan, Ms. McCartney is committed to creating a cruelty-free line of clothes with no leather or fur, something that is extremely rare for European fashion houses. She is also a mom and is sensitive to designing clothes that are accessible for women who are balancing motherhood with professional lives. At times, Ms. McCartney’s collection could easily be referred to as mom-wear for its fuller than normal silhouettes and rather conservative approach to dressing. This season, though, she takes a few more risks and delivers a collection that has a more sensual side to it.
Not that all the practicality is gone, mind you. There are still those “mom” pieces, such as denim jumpers and jersey knit dresses with tee styled tops. No matter how fitted a top may be, Ms. McCartney always makes room at the hips and has a sufficient number of pieces in her collection that work as every-day wear without being too frumpy or pedestrian. She is aided this season by the fact that full, flowing looks are very much a trend. Slacks and pants with flared legs don’t stand out as much this season as they have others.
At the same time, though, there is a strong move with this collection to bring back some sensuality. There are cutouts and carefully designed folds that reveal a lot of skin at the hips. In fact, with one popular look one would have to be careful as to the style of underwear being worn under it lest everyone in the room see. Lower scoops on scarf-like chiffon with longer-than-usual spaghetti straps are also more flirty and, in one case, resulted in an unplanned nipple slip on the runway. Keeping some double-sided tape handing might not be a bad idea.
Stella also includes an element of fun with giant buckles on the straps of some early pieces. Sweater dresses are soft and comfortable, but still interesting with crossover folding and asymmetrical hems. There is one very obvious piece of pajama wear in the collection, but other than that she stays away from anything that looks too casual lest she give the wrong impression.
Most of the pieces are solid, monochrome, done in easy-to-wear earth tones. Separates should mix and match well, and most everything one finds in this collection is going to be machine washable, though there are certainly some exceptions to that rule. When she finally does get to prints, the material gets very light weight, almost like chiffon but not quite (still cotton blends for the most part). The floral patterns give the collection a much-needed jolt of color and a little more excitement. The looks have a sensual feel to them, but at the same time stay safe within the mom zone.
Stella McCartney fans are going to enjoy this collection very much. She delivers a much wider range of options for this season while still staying true to her base. Women flock to this label for a very good reason. Stella McCartney makes a mom look good.
Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos