Since 2001, ethical fashion has been a hallmark of designer’s work. Now the rest is following suit.
The invitation to Stella McCartney’s Paris fashion show was contained in a glossy pouch that said “I am 100% compostable (and you too!)” The inside contained a freebie: A pair of yellow socks made entirely from upcycled yarn (85%). It contains no chemicals, dyes, or pesticides.
These details are important in a socially conscious environment where more fashion brands pledge their sustainability commitments. McCartney has been exploring ethical fashion since 2001 when she started it.
McCartney’s Monday winter show came 17 years later. It was a critical moment for her company. Kering, a French luxury conglomerate, is currently in discussions with McCartney about McCartney purchasing her share. Backstage, McCartney said, “That’s still not confirmed, but it is possible,” and her representative confirmed that she would make the decision by the end the month.
It is difficult to know whether the rumours flying around, including that McCartney’s father, Paul, may be helping to finance the deal, are an extension of the swipes she has long faced concerning her famous family, or represent wishful thinking on the industry’s part – or are a genuine signal that the former Beatle may soon make his arrival into the rarefied world of French fashion. (On that note, a company spokesperson told trade journal the Business of Fashion that Paul McCartney had never been involved in the business.)
McCartney said it was a time to reflect on “what we stand up for in this industry”. It was a chance for us to review and modernize it, and to “take it up to the top”.
This theory was brought to life on the catwalk in a show that incorporated menswear and ladieswear for the first-time and focused on twisted tailoring. The silky lining of the suit jackets was visible. There were also lingerie-inspired gowns in soft boudoir colors and JH Lynch’s repeated use of his paintings, including Tina, with her mysterious kohl-eyed eyes.
The kitsch touch brought a welcome note of eccentricity or, as McCartney described it, of “something a little bit wrong”, to a covetable, luxe collection. You can only see the show notes to learn that ethical fashion was used, using fur-free fur, faux leather, and “loop” trainers made with special stitching.
McCartney spoke out about the shift towards sustainability. “It’s doable. It’s possible. I’m here to show everyone that it is possible. This is the mindset that you need to adopt. It’s possible to have it all.” McCartney said that no matter what she does for the brand’s business side, McCartney will be ethical in her focus.