Paris Fashion Week A/W 2008-9: Stella McCartney
Our homegrown vegan designer, Stella McCartney, took to the Parisian catwalk with her latest offering for Fashion Week, but it was hard to know what to make of her collection as a whole.
The lack of a theme was palpable; 'eclectica' seems to be the overriding description of her A/W line. Rug-like mustard knits emblazoned with grandiose coats-of-arms strode alongside foggy drifting chiffons and heavy plain midnight-blue velvet shifts. Some, like a small tulip LBD, were cute, sleek and feminine, while long black smocks and boxy double-breasted wool-felt coats with enormous lapels eliminated any silhouette whatsoever. Some ensembles gave off an earthy, ethnic vibe; others harked back centuries to the medieval damsel. The black, cripser pieces can easily be imagined on refined city socialites...
Stella's levels of original design also varied accordingly: while some of the prints and brocades were striking (I loved the metallic flocking that peeked through coloured chiffon dresses), and the shapes flattering and innovative (adoring the voluminous, cloudy grey jacket, above left), other pieces fell flat: her shapeless, black, off-shoulder calf-length dress looks lacklustre and the crochet body-con minidresses are somewhat reminiscent of grandma's doilies.
One recurring feature were the platform wedges pounding the planks - ankle boots, knee-highs or pumps, all the footwear had that mile-high lift, cut in at the heel. Although one model did stride down the catwalk barefoot, holding one of her shoes. Not so comfortable, then?
As usual, Stella excels at tailored suits, but these are hardly new. Some details could translate well to the high street - for example the thick, solid wooden belts - but all in all, her show was rather confusingly hit-and-miss. Completely irrelevantly, though, how much do you love the invites to the show? As random as the collection, but cute nevertheless!