At Stella McCartney’s show on Monday morning, a television set promoted the PPR-backed documentary “Home,” while the stage set featured another nature-centric backdrop, this one a colorful Chapman Brothers’ skyscape combined with a Sam Taylor-Wood photograph.
The fact that McCartney enjoys life’s simple pleasures and is dedicated to preserving the natural ones has become a core informant of her work. So, too, is an ongoing dialogue between the feminine and masculine. All of those elements played beautifully into the smart, polished collection she showed. And if it didn’t quite have the sparkle of last season’s dazzler, it offered plenty of the kind of terrific, love-to-wear clothes that a host of chic women, including fashion editors, find themselves drawn to with increasing frequency.
The structured side came via the mannish tailoring McCartney has perfected for women’s bodies. The news for fall: terrific coats and jackets with elongated lapels, some fastened with skinny non-leather belts. A softer outerwear option came in big loopy coats that looked oh-so-cozy, and were the designer’s alternative to fur. On a like note, no leather? No problem. McCartney’s biker jacket in “non leather sheen cupro” can vroom with the best of them, and her thigh-high boots, in silk knits and perforated faux, strut the killer instinct she can live with.
To that end, into a range of lovely dresses — silk paint-stroke prints, a grown-up riff on the baby doll, curvy, mixed-houndstooth knits — McCartney worked in some quite provocative goings-on, such as a clever tease of a black gown with lace insets that swirled in places that got close to naughty, but then refused to go all the way.