A couple of days ago, a conversation occurred with a Model Who Shall Remain Nameless. Said (or in this case, Not Said) very smart and interesting model had sat ringside at a runway show, something she’d never done before, and the experience had been quite the eye opener for her. It was as if she’d just seen her reflection in a mirror for the first time, felt what it’s like to be the gazer instead of the gazed at. (Apologies in advance for the pseudo-Lacanian language here, guys.) Anyway, Not Said Model’s prognosis wasn’t so good: Suddenly, she saw the blankness of so much of the modern show experience, where the color of each girl’s personality is bled away to nothing. Where, she thought, is the joy, the individuality, the life? This, clearly, is not the case at Stella McCartney, who is as conspiratorial and collaborative with the women who model in her shows as she is with those she dresses off the runway.
McCartney’s thinking for next spring is big—as in oversized, enveloping, voluminous in an athletic, not precious way. Her clothes billowed and glided and floated toward the floor, and pulled off that tricky thing of managing to be comfortable and sensual. McCartney’s gals—Joan and Binx and Cara and Edie—projected the attitude plenty of women will find positive: If you’re comfortable in your own skin (and ergo, your own sense of sexuality), there isn’t a need to put a whole lot of it on show. McCartney confidently spun through plenty of notes of the coming season, but in her way: Scaling up her somewhat utilitarian shirt dressing and superwide flared trousers; ribbing her sweater dressing with an athletically inclined geometry; appliquéing fragments of lace onto the likes of androgynous zippered jackets and track pants; and working patches of gorgeous florals with lace, giving a delightful butterfly effect.