Paris. 4th March.
The Fall Winter Ready-To-Wear 2019 Collection projects a powerful persona, evolving our signature contrast of strength and softness while looking to the past, present and future. Uniting Northern Soul references, fluidity, utility and upcycling, it is a collection designed to empower men and women to look and feel their best. Heartfelt messages to loved ones flood the catwalk as part of Stella's 'There She Grows' campaign, through which friends and members of the public dedicated a tree to help save the endangered Leuser Ecosystem.
The palette is a rich combination of classic biscuit-brown, black and grey, and jewel-toned hues like bottle green and burgundy. Pops of vivid blue, pink, yellow, coppery sienna and multicoloured moments add splashes of bright colour. A sense of structure defines the collection, injected by strong shoulders on coats and dresses and a wide-legged, Northern Soul inspired trouser for both men and women. Softness comes into play as draped fabric falls from the shoulder on dresses and waists are cinched throughout.
A tapestry of quilted Stella McCartney vintage fabric is stitched together with graphic lines of embroidery to create monochromatic dresses and jackets. This is furthered by a statement-king, multicoloured upcycled dress, made using vintage T-shirts that are stripped, knotted and knitted. Menswear complements this with an upcycled military coat made from a miscellany of waxed panels; the result of an intensive method of deconstruction and reconstruction. A new burgundy-brown Fur-Free-Fur jacquard becomes coats for men and women.
Utility comes into play in various forms, from subtle to overt. An all-in-one in dark khaki and an oversized sand coat with a cut shoulder are more literal interpretations. This theme is elevated for men with sleek, black nylon pieces. Circular hardware on trousers and coats a reference to Stella's hope for a circular economy.
Key accessories include cylinder bags with perforated logos, created in oversized and mini shapes. Anchoring the collection are platform crepe-sole boots, created in skinny knee-high silhouettes. A boot for both men and women has been created with iconic British brand Hunter, and it may be one of the most sustainable rubber boots ever made. It is set on sculptural natural rubber soles and fitted with Yulex sock inserts-a plant-based alternative to neoprene.
Twisted and wrapped adornments by celebrated artist Sheila Hicks have been created using Indigenous weaving techniques, worn like badges of honour for valour and bravery. These adornments act as wearable works of art. Linking to the rainforest conservation surrounding the show, sustainable viscose sourced from certified forests is used throughout, as well as organic cotton and Eco-canvas.