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It would be easy for Stella McCartney’s pre-fall 2016 collection to get lost in the special sauce that was her Hollywood show in Amoeba Music on Tuesday, as a bevy of A-listers stepped out to celebrate the designer and her latest fashion range. But there was no way to miss the models, who were raised on platforms in tableaus at various locations around the mega records store as they were part of the tribute-to-music environment.
Instead of standing stiff at command in a barrelful of makeup — as in most fashion presentations where the models don’t even do eye contact — these models were absolutely fresh-faced with carefree, loose simple hair (yes, undone, but not messy) and best of all, they swayed and moved to the tunes that were either spun or performed live.
They didn’t look like models — except for their frames and height — they looked like very attractive cool people you’d see at a concert, much like the celebrities who mingled during the star-studded soiree. You can be sure you’ll see Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and maybe even Chelsea Handler in these looks very soon. They all happened to be at the event, too.
But, in fact, the clothes were eye-catching enough that they were very noticed and perused. Yes, they did fit into the indigenous environment of classic rock and pop, with a serious ‘70s twist, but they were also fresh in silhouette, fabrics and color combos.
A major theme was animal prints (think leopard and tiger) and a new one featuring kitty heads — animals being one of McCartney’s themes and cause celebs. (Her use of faux leathers and fur speak for themselves.) The lookbook even has the models posing with funny fat cats, and we’re not talking corporate ones, we’re talking live purring ones.
Stella is known for her great tailoring and fit, but this collection had more femmy silk dresses and offbeat cropped bell bottoms than you’d expect. Diagonal stripes and giant polka dots were among them. One dress mixed the kitty head print on white with black and red panels (most of the shapes were bias over the knee with no waist and soft hems) — so easy to wear. This was shown with white-on-white loafers with a block heel. A thick grey cable sweater in blue grey had puffy knit sleeves. There were very wide trousers shown with sweaters and lots of coats, often with sleeves of other fabrics, like one with textured knit sweater sleeves. And there were those cropped extreme flared pants that actually worked when shown with much more subtle pieces.
Two lace bias dresses looked very red carpet — one in black, one in white. And perhaps the most outstanding element was the use of tulle slips and fabric over either pants or short dresses in peach, rose or dusty pink with some to the floor, some more tea-length. It’s hard to tell if these will be sold separately or are part of the looks; they’d be great to throw on over slips and worn at night. But they can even frolic during the day, adding a bit of punk/’80s grunge to day looks a la Hedi Slimane or Marc Jacobs.
There were plenty of looks for everybody, but most of them seemed really about — and for — Los Angeles, with the moniker “Paris of the West” seeming more and more appropriate.
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