Stella McCartney is not only a talented designer but also a woman of values. She staged a horse show that captivated the audience, featuring wild horses led by horse whisperer and rescuer, Jean-Francois Pignon, who trained them to acknowledge his body movements and manners without physical touch. Stella wanted to return to her equestrian roots, and she did so by incorporating photography from her late mom Linda and sister Mary McCartney into the collection, which was big on Savile Row style tailoring.
The collection was not just about fashion; it was also about values. Stella wanted to make a connection with all living creatures and show that luxury can come without using leather, fur, or feathers. The designer’s relationship with animals was apparent in the horse show, where Pignon’s horses frolicked, cantered, and even rolled in the dirt as models breezed by. The horses looked truly at ease in the space, in front of the crowd, and they were treated like Pignon’s pets and babies.
The runway was full of British check and pinstripe boyfriend blazers with exaggerated shoulders and looser trousers, shrunken waistcoats showing midriffs for sexier takes on suits, and tailored bustier dresses that have been turning up everywhere. Plush outerwear was fuzzy like black-and-white Appaloosas, and knits were dotted with a cute repeating horse motif. Twisted georgette dresses, rugby shirts, and throwback track suits in British regalia red also played on the theme.
The designer also zoomed in on tailoring this season, inspired by equestrian uniforms and military regalia. For evening, jersey dresses featured braided detailing or crystal rope outlining cutouts, and slipdresses were patchworked with horse photo prints, chiffon, and sequin panels. Another look, black pants embroidered with chains at the hips with a shrunken black vest, looked ready for the red carpet.
However, what truly stole the show was the authenticity that Stella brought to the runway. She has always been clear about her brand values of animal welfare and sustainability, which was reflected in the collection crafted from 89 percent responsible materials. The designer even included the first luxury handbags crafted from Mirum, a plant-based, plastic-free, and circular alternative to animal leather. Other bags were made from crocodile-effect AppleSkin, using apple waste from the food industry, and Mylo, a mycelium leather alternative.
Stella McCartney’s horse show was not just a fashion show; it was a statement of values. The designer’s relationship with animals and her commitment to sustainability and responsible materials made her runway show stand out from the crowd. Just as Pignon has earned and maintained the trust of his horses, Stella has done the same with her customers. Fashion seasons may come and go, but authenticity and values are here to stay.