Stella McCartney certainly knows how to put the burned-out fashion crowd in good spirits first thing in the a.m. Feed them — guests entering the magnificent Palais Garnier were greeted with coffee and tasty breakfast treats. Entertain them — the show kicked off with the amusing intro to Ludacris’ “Sexting” song — a parody of the infamous Tiger Woods voice mail he left one of his alleged mistresses. And deliver the goods — a strong collection rooted in restrained chic.
The first look out of the gate was a double-faced cashmere coat, spare and streamlined save for a discreet notched lapel. It also set the tone for a major tailoring story, where jackets and coats came utterly clean and minimal — no hardware, no embellishments, with the focus on precision of cut. Sixties-style shifts and tops made from those same sturdy wools worked a similarly controlled vibe — some with big square pockets, others in wide stripes. McCartney served up her familiar staples, as well: beefy ribbed knits (the oversize cardigan, worn solo without pants); jumpsuits (one in pretty merlot), and great sporty outerwear, including quilted parkas with wide, detachable hoods. Shapes, meanwhile, kept to a structured tack. That is, except for the occasional draped gown in liquid tangerine or fuchsia, cut high in the front and trailing beautifully in the back. The other feminine counterpoint came in the sheer organza moments. They crept in slowly — inserts at the shoulders of a sculpted jacket or trimming a one-shoulder frock — before building into a dominant veiling motif in the second half. The embroidered lace dresses, with hemlines veering dangerously north, were the most alluring examples of that overlay theme. The subtly sexy mood McCartney evoked here just felt right.