Accentuate the positive. A powerful credo by which to live, and a savvy one by which to design. Stella McCartney always works from a place that’s on the upbeat side of neutral. Her spring runway felt even more exuberant than usual, pulsing with the affirmative action of daring graphics, audacious color and sports references worked with a strong yet approachable sensuality.
McCartney opened with giant, fanciful tablecloth plaids for looks that started with a polo shirt. But she riffed away, turning the two summer-casual classics into chic stuff — dresses constructed in curved sections that clung through the torso before opening into controlled but relaxed long skirts. Feisty knits crisscrossed layers of sheer stripes for sexy sportif. The pattern play was not for the faint of heart — explosions of red, green, yellow, black and white, their bold, linear motifs arranged in high-energy opposition. The euphoric color-coding continued with sharp pleats in sinuous, undulating tiers that moved with and fell away from the body — orange over pink over green plaid; gray over acid green.
Yet McCartney is a woman of many thoughts. While crisp, dark denim and pastel knits took the polo-shirt conceit into appealing new-suit territory, a group featuring giant white-on-black swirls moved in its own curious tangent. Not so in the case of the vibrant embroidered mesh evening dresses: plenty glamorous while retaining the breezy summer mood. Nor McCartney’s fab footwear — offbeat upgrades to flip-flops with athletic soles. Fashion knows no greater affirmation than happy feet.