Well, someone had to be brave enough to bring them back. The them would be ski pants, and the someone, would be Stella McCartney, who made them a mainstay of her fall 2014 collection. They haven’t been around in . . . well, I can’t remember the last time they were around; basically, it’s been ages, years, decades even. And if the glint in Rihanna’s eye is anything to go by—yep, RiRi has been to almost as many Paris shows as your average editor/retailer/blogueuse these past few days—then expect to see a lot more of them. For McCartney, there was nary a look for day or night which couldn’t work with that lean trouser with a stirrup underfoot. Wherever you may stand on ski pants—and McCartney did make a pretty convincing case for them—they certainly amplified the line of her silhouette, which placed the focus on the idea of long, lean legs, whether that was done by an oversize coat/parka/sweater, or a skinny-fit blazer or classic shirt, all worn with a fantastic flatform lace-up shoe, resting on a chunky-tread sole, and sometimes embellished with a constellation of stars spanning across the foot.
But to lay the sole focus of McCartney’s show on the trousers would be wrong. There were a ton of ideas here, which radiated that ineffable coolness she does so well; she has that knack of making the girls in her show look like they’d actually wear—and enjoy—her clothes long after they’ve walked off the runway. McCartney opened with a series of looks embroidered with zippers scrolling across the likes of a skinny-fit, short, double-breasted black coatdress or a masculine blazer; many have chosen to use the zipper as denoting a kind of hard-edged attitude this season, but McCartney flipped the idea on its head, as it were, opting instead to have hers teeth-side up so it looked far less obvious.
A ton of great outerwear followed—a trapunto-quilted parka, a crewel-worked coat also embroidered with flowers—as well as sweater dressing galore in a rustic fleck knit, complete with matching bag worn across the body. (In other pant news, the knitted trouser also showed up on McCartney’s runway, as it has done elsewhere this season. Hers had the advantage of finishing at a reasonable length and not flaring heavily onto the ground as others have done.) To close, McCartney worked drapes of silken cords as enthusiastically as she’d used the zippers that opened, and cascading down a highly abbreviated dress, or a top worn with a pair of tapered pants, it made for an original and convincing evening statement in a season in which we’ve seen precious few of those.