Stella McCartney is a British fashion designer known for her sustainable and ethical approach to fashion. She launched her eponymous brand in 2001 and has since become a prominent figure in the industry, known for her feminine and modern designs. McCartney is also an advocate for animal rights and does not use leather, fur, or any other animal-derived materials in her collections. She has collaborated with numerous brands and designers and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the fashion industry and sustainable fashion practices.
Stella McCartney’s Fall 2023 Collection
Based on the composure of the models in the pictures, one would hardly believe that seven unaltered white Camargue horses were galloping around the sandy arena located to the left of the runway. The horses made their grand entrance into the Manège de l’École Militaire to the tune of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” while flaunting their beautiful, long, silver manes as they galloped around the 18th-century riding ring. Accompanying them was the horse whisperer Jean-François Pignon, who guided them with a gentle hand to rear, circle around, and roll in the sand. Stella McCartney, after the show, commented that “There’s so much leather and feather and fur on the runway, especially in winter, and I just wanted to show that you can do it in a different way. You don’t have to kill anything.” All in all, it was a remarkable event.
McCartney, a vegan, values harmonious relationships between humans and animals. Her mother, Linda, used to breed Appaloosa horses, and McCartney still rides to this day, with a horse named Summer and dogs as companions. Despite having a farm in the countryside, she is bothered by the fact that there is still hunting nearby, even if the fox is shot instead of being ripped apart by dogs. McCartney aims to raise awareness of this issue. Her collection revolved around reclaiming and repurposing the British equestrian wardrobe traditionally associated with hunting and warhorses of the Great War, which are things she fundamentally opposes.
“She praised the uniforms, admiring the fine tailoring and bespoke details, and noted that her background in studying such craftsmanship made her appreciate it even more. The interplay between the rider, horse, and natural surroundings in equestrian culture intrigued her and she found a certain beauty in it. McCartney merged her equestrian sensibilities with her own fashion history, which she had reintroduced in the previous season. This combination resulted in a collection of revealing hussar jackets, short vests, deconstructed denim suits inspired by another equestrian culture, and low-waisted pants that incorporated McCartney’s signature draped hip chains with new equestrian-inspired elements.”
Stella McCartney is drawing inspiration from her own fashion archives during her time at Chloé, as seen in the revived horse print from her 2001 collection, which is now featured in dresses and knitwear with a hazy, dreamlike quality. This renewed connection to her past work is not only in line with current trends that appeal to younger generations, as her teenage daughter can attest, but also reinvigorating her creative spirit. The latest collection from the house of Stella exudes a heightened sense of passion, with the return of oversized blazers and coats adorned in horse blanket checks, and some sporting the sculpted waistlines of hunting jackets. As a tribute to her family background, McCartney incorporates her mother’s horse photography onto elegant evening dresses, and her sister Mary’s work onto shirts, one of which was worn by Pignon himself.
When asked to explain how her collection relates to horses, Stella McCartney smiled and said that the main connection is that horses are living creatures, and her clothing collection hasn’t caused any harm to animals. She wants to celebrate the idea of everyone living together in harmony. The collection includes sustainable materials, but the list is too long to mention here – you can find it on her website. McCartney created three new handbags that promote her philosophy, all made from alternative materials to animal leather. One of them is made from MIRUM, which is a circular and plant-based material that doesn’t contain any plastic. Another bag is crafted from AppleSkin, which is a crocodile-effect material made from apple waste. Finally, she also made the world’s first bag from a white version of Mylo, which is a material made from mushrooms.