By Dalya Benor
Stella McCartney is back with a thoughtful bang, delivering her Winter 2021 collection just in time for the reemergence we’ve all been waiting for. Debuting her women’s ready-to-wear with a dose of high-octane energy, optimism and joie de vivre, the pieces are poised to make the grandest of entrances. Mixing and matching psychedelic prints with electro-shock colors and textures, the collection is an escapist fantasy that comes with a one-way ticket to McCartney’s dreamworld. And, as to be expected from the designer whose name is synonymous with sustainability in fashion, her latest vision proves once again that mindfulness is the chicest of qualities.
Glamour, nightlife and youth
After a year spent in hibernation, McCartney has made it clear that she refuses to hide any longer with a collection that boldly stakes its claim, incorporating larger-than-life silhouettes made for being noticed. Designed at a time when nightlife and glamorous pursuits had just about been relegated to nostalgia, McCartney tapped into that yearning to create a collection charged with an energetic and youthful spirit. This assemblage of clothing—including wide-legged trousers, textured 3D popcorn knits, and all-over sequin bodysuits— takes us out of the everyday, while still being highly wearable.
Feminine playfulness and exquisite tailoring
This past year in isolation was a creative renaissance of sorts for McCartney. “The pandemic has allowed us all to take a minute and reflect on how we work,” McCartney says. “It’s given me the time to really slow down and think strategically, which has been a precious gift.” McCartney’s namesake mix of feminine playfulness, exquisite tailoring, and sportswear-inspired detailing has always been combined with her deep-rooted commitment to ecological causes and the break in time this past year allowed her to laser focus on the brand’s values around sustainability and social responsibility.
“Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world,” says McCartney, with refreshing self-awareness. “The equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is burned or landfilled every second.” Thinking back to her initial goals, McCartney spent time considering and codifying her vision for the future, which she distilled into an A-to-Z Manifesto as a way to provide her community with tools to “return to the world more mindful.” Using each letter in the alphabet to introduce thoughtful conversations, McCartney tapped established artists around the world to interpret both personal and brand values, including Winter collection’s reference to “D for Desire.”
Innovation meets sustainability
McCartney has long pushed her brand forward with the latest innovations in fabric technology and sustainable design. For Winter 2021, 77 percent of the collection incorporates sustainable materials such as organic cotton, sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, PVC- free sequins and ECONYL recycled nylon. “Leather and luxury are typically synonymous with each other,” the designer says. “I wanted to approach things differently and prove it was doable without sacrificing style and design.”
Recycling is always in style
Incorporating materials such as ECONYL, derived from discarded fishing nets, is an exciting development for McCartney. “The process takes waste, reconditions it and remakes it into garments,” she explains. “It’s truly incredible and completely circular, which is something we need to do more of as an industry.” To wit, the block heel on her Groove knee-high boots is made from recycled ABS plugs, and the Spike sneaker has a sole entirely sourced from waste materials. Extending into the rest of the collection, a lumberjack jacket is made from vegan Alter Mat, a cruelty-free alternative to animal leather, wool coats are sourced from farms with high animal welfare standards and regenerative farming practices. For McCartney, thoughtfully-minded design comes full circle — she proves that one does not have to sacrifice style and luxury in the name of sustainable values.