With the rustling leaves of change in the air and the palpable pulse of anticipation from fashion enthusiasts globally, Stella McCartney transformed Paris into an eco-centric haven during the unveiling of her Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Nestled in the iconic Marché Saxe-Breteuil, an expanse usually teeming with the vibrancy of fresh produce and the eclectic energy of diverse vendors, there sprouted a runway show that was more than a presentation of garments – it was an experience, a soulful soiree showcasing the alchemy of style and sustainability.
In the heart of this radiant atmosphere, where every stitch and fabric whispered a tale of revolutionary craftsmanship, were representatives from companies such as NFW Mirum, notable for their plant-based leather, and Keel Labs, an entity that exudes innovation with their seaweed-based fibers. All present bore witness to a metamorphosis; the assemblage of vintage Stella McCartney attire blending seamlessly with the cutting-edge innovations of today.
“The aura is freedom and evolution,” expressed McCartney, echoing an ethos where fashion’s enigmatic dance with time is as fluid as the silhouettes she crafts. This Spring/Summer 2024 collection was not just a narrative of fabric and form but an eloquent ode to her parents, Paul and Linda McCartney’s, symbiotic style.
Remnants of an era where velvety vocals and melodious strums of Wings, the legendary band of her parents, filled the air, found their revival in tuxedo shirts, willowy vests, and full trousers reflecting her father’s iconic style. A blooming connection to her late mother, the free-spirited photographer, musician, and vegetarian-cookbook-author, found expression in mirror-embellished dresses crafted from Keel Labs’s seaweed-based yarn, Kelsun. Stella, akin to an artist with a palette of infinite hues, seamlessly merged masculinity and femininity, blending robust suits with ethereal parachute dresses and hedonistic micro HotPants.
“We’re not telling people what to wear. We’re inviting them into a conversation,” McCartney declared. Indeed, each garment was not just a piece to be worn but an invitation to a world where fashion and consciousness coexist, where 95% of the materials employed serve as testament to an unwavering commitment to ethical design.
A stand, reminiscent of the rich legacy of Wings, showcased vintage designs curated by “Euphoria” costume designer Heidi Bivens, embodying a ‘70s influence. It was a reflection not of nostalgia, but of the timeless dialogue between epochs. In this space, past and future, vintage and contemporary, existed not as contradictions but harmonious elements of a singular, evolving narrative.
Tessa Callahan, Keel Labs’s co-founder, was alight with the kind of fervor that accompanies breakthroughs, her voice quivering with emotion as she introduced the seaweed-based yarn to the world. In this moment, the global debut of a material six years in the making, the future of fashion shimmered with possibility.
©Photo: Stella McCartney