GIRLS’ CLUB: “Hi Stella. I know you’re there,” chimed a red-capped and former Designer for Tomorrow patron Alber Elbaz in a well-wisher video aired at the 10th edition of the student designer competition held in Berlin last week. Stella McCartney was back for her second turn as Designer for Tomorrow patron for this diamond anniversary, and once again, the designer and jury’s five finalists, culled from 200 European hopefuls, was an all-girls’ lineup. The winner, Lara Krude of Hamburg’s University of Applied Sciences, will have mentoring sessions with McCartney as well as a further round of workshops and internships through Designer for Tomorrow sponsor, the German specialty store chain Peek & Cloppenburg.
Krude’s women’s wear capsule, “Was Bleibt” or “What Remains,” impressed with her take on men’s wear tailoring and ensemble thinking gone awry, combined with a sensitive color sense, fine finishing and individual detailing. Last year’s winner, Edda Gimnes, was also back with her first runway show, her signature hand-drawn prints now full color and generally full flush, but sometimes also just a loosely sketched detail such as pockets or the back yoke on otherwise solid jackets and pants.
“A part of the reason to come back,” McCartney said, “is that beyond this being the 10th anniversary, the process last time was just so enjoyable. And it’s interesting looking at these five — all women again which is insane — and seeing such high quality.”
McCartney also made a second Berlin appearance later in the day at Zeit Magazin’s Mode & Stil conference “Free the Fashion.” She took a zip-closed attitude to Brexit queries, noting “I have my personal beliefs [on this issue], but I don’t like sharing them with a room full of strangers, thank you very much.” When it came to life on the farm — or on tour — with her parents as a kid, or her label’s sustainable approach and practices, she was most forthcoming.
“What I find very old fashioned in the fashion industry is the way things are sourced, and it’s time to question that. We just spent three years developing a viscose — to get it from sustainable forests. And with cashmere, which is harmful to the earth and animal, to find ways to use regenerated cashmere — that is, all the stuff left on the floor. That’s what makes us a modern and relevant fashion house, and is as important as making modern and relevant fashion.”