Primary colours — red, blue and yellow — are the story of the Paris shows for summer 2016. Those vivid shades, when worn together, are redolent of Africa
But Stella McCartney, after her bright, light show, was adamant that there was no complex message in the slim, mid-calf dresses in Madras checks that came at the beginning. However there was a welcome diversity among the models on the runway.
"Colours of summer, celebrating life — and celebrating women, " Stella said, dexterous as ever in handling one of her daughters while greeting guests.
Stella's life in fashion has two meanings: first there is the fact that she was born with a silver guitar in her hand, a child of the McCartney music legacy. Rapper MIA was sitting front row but there was no famous dad; only a supportive husband.
Stella McCartney, the brand, has grown up with its founder, and this show was streamlined and sophisticated
Transparency was never cute and not even deliberately pretty. Rather it shadowed the silhouette behind the check or stripe patterns.
The new look came from ankle-length dresses that rose up the calf when airy pleats were offered in two or three layers. The dresses, occasionally tunics over bunchy trousers, all had an easy summer feeling
But Stella is too smart to believe that life in summer is one long holiday. She introduced curvier tops, still with calf-length hems but in pastel colours, and then got down in earnest to black work clothes. That solemnity did not last long however, as the designer turned to swirls of primitive prints on black, white and rust, inspired by abstract sculptures.
'Sophisticated' is the best description for this collection, whether sporty or tribal — or transparent for the red-carpet crowd. That word would never have been used at the turn of the millennium when Stella started seriously her fashion career. It shows how much she has changed not in her signature style, but by moving forward in attitude and execution.