Stella McCartney AW16: Opposites attract

Stella McCartney AW16

Stella McCartney’s one of those labels I rarely get that excited about. But it’s also one of those labels that’s really good at tapping into the mood of the moment and giving us clothes we can actually wear (rather than unwearable clothes to inspire).

This time round it was a mixed bag. I wasn’t sure about the swan print, nor some of the more shapeless daywear pieces. But she and her team were spot-on with the puffers and the beautifully delicate-but-elaborate slip dresses. They were two extremes that might have felt like they came from different collections were they not pulled together by powerful colour strands such as ginger, a range of blues and black.

stella slips

Stella McCartney AW16

Those puffers represent a key way that designers are trying to coax us all out of our parkas next season, the others being oversized shearlings and drop-shoulder tailored woollens.

Puffers may not have been out in front at the start of Fashion Month but they’re sprinting to the finish as a key direction and McCartney had enough to choose from.

Think puffer as a jacket, as a coat, as a gilet, as a cropped bomber. Whatever the item, Ms McCartney is determined we should stay warm when outdoors come November.

Of course, there was plenty for indoors too. Here, McCartney seemed to take her inspiration from lingerie in a series of dresses that move last season’s simple slips into more intricate territory. The silhouettes stay simple but the detail doesn’t.

Pleating, lace and metallics in tones of soft blue, ginger, black, silver or gold were a perfect solution to real-life occasion dressing without feeling like you need a red carpet to walk down.

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