The disconnect between the calls to Stella McCartney’s shows and the tone of the show itself has desire been acknowledged by insiders at Paris fashion week. This age’s – a digital display with the word “invites” flashing across the partition off – is pure silliness.
Monday’s event, on the other hand, was a consequential business. While the show notes talked about “dissipated with a sense of humour and a tomboy side” the collection put through on that classic commercial adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
McCartney concedes applause from the audience. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Replicas
The latest financial results for McCartney’s brand, for the year terminate 2014, saw profits in the UK rise by 22.7%. So, for her autumn/winter 2016 collecting, the designer took something of a greatest hits approach, distressing on all the things her customers buy season after season: trouser conform ti, oversized coats, cosy chic knitwear and the kind of be revenging wear that does not require three hours in mane and makeup.
If that sounds boring, it wasn’t. This was one of the strongest McCartney gleanings in recent seasons. The midnight blue velvet trouser plea with tulle inset across the shoulders was a lovely pride, as were rust-coloured slip dresses with long pleated metallic skirts. High-waisted flared trousers, a whitened denim shirt dress and juicy puffa gilets had an amenable coolness that McCartney could patent. Jumpers with frilled edges and a swan language played into a sort of retro whimsy currently in favour.
In the front row, McCartney’s latest “squad” included Amber Valletta, Kristin Scott Thomas, the balladeer Petite Meller, and Kenya Kinski-Jones, model and animal justs activist. This was a modern collection, sympathetic to how most skirts live now.
Perhaps this could be put down to McCartney’s persistent ability to translate her own lifestyle as a mother and businesswoman into the invests she creates. She said as much backstage – the effortless evening use was down to her interest in “day to night”. She added: “I don’t want to have to mutation.”
In line with her rosy profits, expansion is on the cards for McCartney. New holds opened in the US and Dubai last year. She will design the Adidas kit for Cooperate GB to wear at the Rio Olympics in June; replicas of her London 2012 kit were the most prominent ever for the brand.
It has been suggested that the designer’s next plan will be to expand to menswear, with the first collection for well-spring 2017. No wonder the latest collection was a celebration, as the designer famous backstage, of what defines the Stella McCartney brand.
Elsewhere on Monday, Sacai, the ID designed by Chitose Abe that has a cult following in the front row, also motioned with brand memes in its Monday show. There were parkas, sweaters with openings in odd places and a colour palette in the shades of school uniforms: gumption green, claret and navy.
Some pieces – belted cropped shearling jackets and phrased pleated midi skirts – would no doubt please the groupies in the audience, but devoré velvet and parkas embroidered with doctors usually found on school blazers felt a bit fussy. Step the line between clothes that both appeal to an entrenched customer base, and move things on, isn’t always easy.
Paris taste week continues on Tuesday, with Chanel and Valentino on the earmark.