McCartney's sporty spirit and energy plays off against Chitose Abe's kaleidoscope of names
McCartney's Game On
By the end of her show, when Stella McCartney's models were dancing, rollicking and having fun on the catwalk, the designer had fulfilled her dream.
“The show is about the spirit of love and hope and being in the moment," she said. "With the world we are living in today, it is a reaction to that and a celebration of the experience of life."
Stella went on to explain that she had reduced the number of seats at the show — although still at the gilded Paris Opera House, the Palais Garnier, from 900 to 200, "for a little more intimacy".
So, was this supposed to be a slo-mo vision of womanly style? The show was rather a bold remake of a female wardrobe with a lot of big, squishy trousers which were drawn in, as if by a string, at the waist.
With that easy, soft look — equally for a skirt or a dress - went honey colours and tactile faux-suede surfaces.
The silhouette had a gentle touch of the 1980s, but were very much designs that would be worn by a strong, free woman of today. Swish those long fringes from waist to knees! Gather up a neckline with more fringe fabric as the dress slopes off one shoulder!
Stella called it "softness and serenity in movement" and the show was presented as if for free spirits to throw a fringed scarf over one shoulder of an outfit with a message — or rather a series of messages.
These statements included 'No Leather', speaking out for the designer's strongly held views about animal rights. The soft ultra, ecologically-sound, suede captured luxury without an animal having to pay the price.
But perhaps the strongest message was the one printed repeatedly on sporty clothes from denim to tubes of jersey: "Thanks Girls" the affirmation read, followed by models hopping, skipping and kicking their way across the runway.
One other message came out in the form of Stella's husband Alasdhair Willis: he was wearing a suit from the McCartney menswear collection 2017.
The secret is out.
Sacai: Game Of Hybrids
Imagine a screen grab in which pop culture figures, along with Pablo Picasso, all have their signature looks chopped up and included into the hybrid clothes at the Sacai show.
Designer Chitose Abe was following her favoured route of pairing unlikely fabrics and, in the case of this spring/summer 2017 show, unlikely people.
Picasso's favourite sailor look was an easy piece for the designer to embrace, melding the stripes with checks. But Kurt Cobain's grunge was not as easy for the Japanese designer to work random pieces into an integrated whole.
The show was, above all, entertaining. Even if the theme was a bit of a gimmick, the result was eye-popping, yet totally wearable, give or take a plume of feathers or a random piece scissored from a pair of jeans.
This free spirited collection seemed modern yet, literally, backed with craft, making a powerful presentation for brand Sacai.