Oh for the English country life! Where, armed with sensible tweeds and cozy, textured knits against the moody weather, one can immerse herself in the storied local romance. Yeah, right. For most women, including Stella McCartney, country respites must be wedged between the more hectic demands of everyday reality. Thus, the designer transported sartorial elements of life’s leisure side into a collection as urbane as it was functional. It looked terrific.
A major focus, executed brilliantly: clothes for the working woman that ranged from the controlled slouchiness of low-slung trousers to the considerably more feminine. Among the stars here was a group of appropriately curvaceous brown tweed dresses (there were outerwear pieces as well) with ribbed knit collars and a trio of gently colored knits — pink suit, gray hourglass dress, newfangled blue twinset — worked in the multitextured Aran tradition. In fact, surface interest was one of the show’s unifying motifs, whether in tone-on-tone jacquards or swirly graphic embroideries in variations of black, white and midnight blue.
Her own collection is not McCartney’s only design project right now; via her collaboration with Adidas, she took on the massive assignment of official designer of performance and village wear for the British Olympic team for the upcoming games in London this summer. How could she help but be influenced here? McCartney thus crossed an athletic direction into the series of girly dresses that closed the show — curvy numbers in ergonomically arranged collages of Brit tweeds and techno stretch, making them look like the most natural of partners. Sometimes worlds don’t collide, but coincide — beautifully.