It’s easy to talk “green” – especially because it would be childish to pretend that the health and longevity of our planet doesn’t matter – but it’s not easy to live the eco ethos. Stella McCartney is, to our knowledge, the only high-end designer in the business with a 360-degree approach to ethical fashion. Her extraordinary pioneering efforts have resulted in vegan “Skin-Free Skins” that mimic the look, feel, and touch of real leather and imitation furs that are identical to the real thing.
Lately, McCartney has expanded the ethical purview of her brand to include a partnership with consignment e-tailer The Real Real in order to encourage circular consumerism, and she has crafted several pieces for Spring/Summer 2018 using yarn harvested from plastic bottles found in the ocean. She even sent out her invites on tongue-in-cheek plastic bin bags that were completely biodegradable, leaving no question as to the show’s theme of environmental sustainability.
While the show might have been named “Trashy Chic”, it couldn’t have been further from “Derelicte“. If I hadn’t delineated all of McCartney’s environmentally friendly efforts, you never would have known the difference between the faux-leather harem pants on her runway and the real thing. Her greatest success has been collections filled with covetable “It” girl pieces that are so chic they belie a sustainable origin.
For Spring/Summer 2018, McCartney alternated between two modes. The first was a 1980s template for design that featured boxy silhouettes, bulky balloon sleeves, vivid Ankara prints, acid-wash denim, and even a modern take on ‘Girbaud jeans’. The second dealt with elegant day-to-evening looks, like creamy, one-shoulder, knit, sweater dresses, frilly pinafores, and a seriously gorgeous bonded “leather” top that was knotted and twisted at the midsection. Everything felt unpretentious, and there was certainly something for everyone – from the show’s sophisticated tailored pieces and feminine knits to its hipster-courting acid denims and utilitarian flight suits. What better way to comment on the disposable nature of fast fashion than with clothes that you’ll want to wear forever?