Stella McCartney dabbles in art at eco-pioneering Paris show

It was as much art fair as fashion show for Stella McCartney, who put on an art-infused spring collection at Paris Fashion Week on Monday that vibrated with flashes of color.

PARIS (AP) — It was as much art fair as fashion show for Stella McCartney, who put on an art-infused spring collection at Paris Fashion Week on Monday that vibrated with flashes of color.

Iconic Japanese contemporary artist Yoshitomo Nara collaborated on the designs showcased at Paris’ Pompidou Center Modern Art Museum, while art megastar Jeff Koons casually popped in to say ‘hello’ to McCartney post-show, peering at her comically across an atelier of world-famous sculptures by Constantin Brancusi.

The display also pioneered the use of regenerative cotton.

Here are some highlights of spring-summer 2023 collections:

STELLA GOES ARTSY

A yellow, red and blue carpeted runway dazzled VIP guests for McCartney’s show in the outdoor courtyard of Paris’ Pompidou Center — a set created in homage to the art museum’s famous colored, structuralist exterior.

This vibrancy continued in the spring fare that was typically fluid and sporty, with moments of bright color.

This season, chic garments such as asymmetrical white minidresses cut on the bias, or tight pink scuba tops with a scooped side silhouette, were to become the canvas for Nara’s vivid imagination.

On the front of them, the Japanese artist had created striking images of big-eyed girls and children in animal costumes — which the house described as “sinister.”

The most-fun looks were in all-out-color, such as a stiff looking chalky yellow scuba top and pant look accessorized with bouncy black flip-flops and a blown up handbag.

That cut a fine look against the bright yellow catwalk and had fashion insiders reaching for their cameras.

ECO-MCCARTNEY MAKES REGENERATIVE COTTON

Speaking backstage after a brief greet with her supportive Beatles father Paul McCartney, Stella said she was “chuffed” that this spring collection set a house record for being 87% sustainable.

“It’s my most sustainable yet. I hope nothing was sacrificed; you shouldn’t see any of the sustainability — it should still look luxurious,” she said, to the group of nodding editors amid the sound of popping champagne.

Since her house was acquired by luxury giant LVMH, McCartney has also taken up a lobbying role inside the company for it to be more eco-aware. This season, one of the fruits of that appeared on the runway. The designer said LVMH has paid for a three-year pilot to make regenerative cotton — grown in ways that maintain the health of the soil.

She said that the process “captures carbon in the soil” and “encourages nature as opposed to destroying it with pesticides.”

Elaborating on her advisory role inside the world’s biggest luxury group, McCartney described it as bringing a “positive impact,” especially having CEO Bernard Arnault on the front row seeing up close the success of eco-friendly ready-to-wear.

“He’s not stupid — it filters in,” she said. “He can look at all of those bags and all of those shoes and all of those non-leather jackets and he can compare between his other houses and see that there is no sacrifice visually.”

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