Pragmatism and power dressing are just some of the resounding motifs to emerge from recent runways, and, for Stella McCartney this is, of course, her forte, her stomping ground. Having honed her own particular brand of effortless practicality since forming her label, infused with her unique approach to sustainability – a key consideration in the industry right now – not to mention being a fan of the sneaker long before athleisure and subsequent runway appropriations, it's not hard to see why Stella McCartney is at the top of her game.
Her first co-ed showing, and playing to her Savile Row roots, there was a borrowing-from and fluidity between the genders, with a focus on deconstructing classic pieces from both wardrobes to create something altogether modern. Suiting and lingerie elements were key, a McCartney signature, but this season they were undone, reconstructed, layered and trompe l'oeil. Strong, tailored looks "flipped inside out" emerged, drawing from a man's coat lining to form a woman's dress – complete with bare seams and exposed darts – while other looks were made up from several different fabrics; a herringbone coat had a zip rather than buttons, and pencil skirts that were part culottes gave credence to the designer’s assertion that for Autumn/Winter 2018, all is not as it seems.
Statement knits were fundamental too, oversized or shrunken Aran jumpers featured different stitches and colours patched together for texture and impact, while other notable fabrics woven in by McCartney included an organic cotton denim and her Skin Free Skin 'alter nappa'.
For a sultrier side to the collection, taking inspiration from J.H. Lynch – a British artist known for his seductive paintings of '60s women – prints of his work appeared on a dress under a layer of tulle or under a cinnamon-hued faux-fur jacket. Knock-out floral prints in velvet added an oversaturated colour effect and flair to the otherwise more muted line-up.
And, with her new Loop sneaker – seen throughout the collection – which uses pioneering new techniques in hooks and stitching to avoid the use of toxic glues, it's clear with every new collection, every new idea, McCartney's eyes are firmly fixed on the future and fashion's duty to it.
Shop: Stella McCartney