Stella McCartney has risen to new heights in her design career, with a series of evermore brilliant collections and the release of Stella McCartney Menswear the designer has never given up on her commitment as an environmental crusader, campaigning on behalf of an ongoing devotion to the environment and the conservation of the oceans. ORDRE's Fashion Director Kirsten Lock interviews McCartney backstage at the Opera in Paris directly after her AW'18 collection release.
Watch the video interview here:
Read the highlights from the backstage interview below:
KL: You continue to show in the Opera here in Paris, how important is location, casting and music for the Stella McCartney brand?
SM: It is really important because it’s all sort of part of the bigger picture. Everything that we do here we are trying to have a really honest approach to who our woman is and what she does listen to. Music is a massive part of my life and of the house and the heritage. The music is critical to our show, it brings it to life essentially. And the casting is really really important because casting is, you know, it is so particular. It is so personal and I just always want the girls to be healthy, to be happy and to have a point of view, and to be alive. So it’s the first time we also introduced menswear onto the runway, so that was really fun to have a men’s casting as well and what’s that relationship between the male models and the female models on the runway. It is critical I think.
KL: The January collection that you showed for the Pre-collections was very comprehensive. Did you take any elements from the Pre-collections and reintroduce them for winter?
SM: A little bit. We started exploring this jigsaw really and sort of collision of two garments together in Pre. We had a little bit of that here and there in the show. It was something that we sort of really found interesting and we were draping and working a lot on the stand and taking pieces and creating one. It was an emotion that we really liked the idea of. We always want to bring more, [and have the attitude] ‘we should do it!’. But we just love ideas until we always sort of come up with other ideas.
KL: If you could direct a buyer to three key looks in your collection, what would they be?
SM: Oh my goodness! I think I couldn’t be so specific on three looks but I think tones, I would definitely say the tailoring. The coats that have been sliced through the middle are just spectacular. I think the lingerie dresses, they’re just so sort of simple but they’re so wearable and individual. I think that’s what we wanted to do this season – renew the Stella McCartney girl and her wardrobe in a completely fresh way but something that you can still fall back on forever. I mean the colour palette is so neutral. I live in greys, I live in camels, I live in creams, I live in black and blue. So that was just a no-brainer. The knitwear is great. I love these really sort of nomadic pieces. I would live in that with a pair of jeans or black pants with heels. I think the day-to-evening side of our house is really important. You know, I love the dress, I think it’s a beautiful dress that you can wear daily, you can even belt it. I mean I love it all. You are asking the wrong person!
KL: You continually create the must have shoe and bag. What are the new styles that buyers should look out for this season?
SM: The thing about this collection is I love the bags so much. I think it’s such an achievement that you can’t even remotely tell that there’s no real leather there. It’s fascinating to me that we are a house, we’ve worked so hard to achieve that look. And it’s like a miracle to me. So, I just want to celebrate it. A lot of looks had accessories. We did a lot of topstitching; we worked on a lot of different textures but still kept those tones together. A lot of small non-leather goods because you know for me I wear a cross body – I want to get my phone, my keys, my lip balm. I couldn’t care less and that’s it!
I really wanted to introduce the hardwear. We introduced a mini Fallabella chain bag that I’m in love with and I just think it’s so precise. I really want the accessories here at Stella McCartney to not shout out, they’re timeless pieces. You should be able to wear them forever. I mean they really are investment pieces, I think. The sneakers, both on the men and women, we introduced this new sneaker called ‘The Loop’. What’s great about it is you can look at one side and it will be going back to the heritage and all these things that are so timeless and then with the loop it’s completely the future of fashion. It’s looking at the technology that we use and there’s no glue at all and I think it’s probably the first time there’s been a glueless shoe ever on a runway.
KL: Sustainability at the moment is a buzz word in fashion but it has always been at the core of Stella McCartney. So what does sustainability mean for Stella McCartney in 2018?
SM: Sustainability has meant the same thing from day one at Stella McCartney. It’s about being mindful, responsible. It’s really looking at the fact that we share this planet with our fellow creatures and billions of them are being killed in the name of fashion every single year. It’s just ridiculous, it’s really old-fashioned, it’s really cruel, it’s bad energy and we don’t need to do it.
I have just presented a collection that I don’t think anyone that didn’t know the house or what I stood for ethically, would have no idea that it wasn’t conventional fashion that we presenting. We have got to move to the future. As consumers, you have to push, you have to demand better, better products. You have to be fearless, now it’s the time to speak out on so many issues. Now is the time to really get what we deserve from our fashion.
KL: For me the Stella McCartney woman is luxurious, quirky and fun. Who is she to you?
SM: She’s naturally sexy, I think. I think she’s naturally confident and she’s modern and I think that our fashion show, I hope, really was a reflection of all of those things. I mean we definitely want to have fun here. We are not in this business for punishment, we work really, really hard and there has got to be some kind of lightness to it all. And Fashion has got to be fun, it has got to be a dream.