“You all know me well, I love solving problems and I always talk about bigger issues that all take place on our planet. But this season I wanted to go back, make a fashion statement to take me away from reality, and create comfortable clothes not just to be worn, but to be noticed,” Stella McCartney told press over Zoom. The occasion? Her AW21 showcase, a club kid inspired collection, and an ode to clubbing, hedonism and being free.
After parting ways with Kering, she sold a stake in her business to rival conglomerate LVMH in 2019. The deal also saw her appointed as sustainability advisor to LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault. This was the first showcase of new Stella McCartney, if you like. Undergoing change, now seems like as good a time as any to assert the brand's position in fashion beyond the eco-friendly field.
“I miss dancing in the clubs and listening to really really loud music, dancing, getting sweating and messy,” the designer, who despite having not visited nightclubs in years, said, when citing her inspiration. “How does it feel? I closed my eyes, transported myself into that place and this is what I saw. I thought about the idea of escaping and bringing the glamour back, I think we are all ready for it”.
IMAGES | Stella McCartney
The show, now available to watch on YouTube, saw models walking the empty concrete labyrinths of Tate Modern. 77 per cent of the collection is made from sustainable materials, even the high-octane, glitter 70's-inspired dresses and jumpsuits. Elsewhere, because winter is all about layering, there were Op art two pieces, and out out dresses, proper party pieces, paired with puffer jackets, dogtooth coats and bombers. We also saw the return of the Falabella, the cult faux-leather bag with chain detailing along the edge, because as you'd expect of someone with sustainability credentials such as Stella's, she advocates for using and wearing things over and over. The collection is fun, it feels alive and like you want, no need to go out dancing. (Patience is key).
“I hope that there will be an element of freedom when people will come out of this, and we will take more risks”she reflected. “Anyway, what is there left to lose anymore? We have all been in lockdown for a year. You have got to come out of this and feel that you wear what you want to wear”.