In fashion, there’s no party like a Stella McCartney party – and that was the case on Thursday night. For the launch of her first menswear collection, shown at London’s Abbey Road studios, made so famous by her father, the likes of Kate Moss, MIA, Orlando Bloom and Professor Green turned up, while Beth Ditto and Darryl McDaniels, the “DMC” in Run DMC, performed.
Really – for once – celebrity attendees and performances weren’t the main event at this event. Instead it was the clothes: a long-awaited move into menswear. McCartney’s easy, wearable and fun aesthetic translates well here, as seen on models wearing long slouchy cardigans, souvenir jackets, mod-ish tailoring and her take on the football scarf. Here, she talks to us about menswear, her dad’s shirts and not taking fashion too seriously.
What were you thinking about when designing this collection?
My tailoring training at Savile Row is definitely evident, but it also has an element that is rooted in what my father wore. I’m not afraid to bring in colours and textures, and I’ve brought in a fit that is definitely inspired by the late 1960s; not too tight, not too baggy, just something that’s perfect on the body. We also referenced so many different aspects of London subculture, like the art, architecture, music. It’s a bit like a history of the British music scene, from the Beatles to 80s punk rock. I also have to look at my husband and great men of the world who have inspired me, both historically and today to tomorrow.
Did you enjoy the different challenges of designing for men?
When I’m designing for women I know exactly what I’m doing, I don’t even think about it, it’s so natural. So this is much more challenging for me mentally, and I like the challenge of the unknown. As a house, we don’t take fashion too seriously, so I wanted to be able to combine the classically masculine tailored pieces with the eclectic pieces that are inspired by a completely different history.
What piece sums up Stella menswear?
It’s really hard to pinpoint one item. The shirt is inspired by a shirt my dad used to own that was very similar to it, so it has such a strong nostalgic feeling for me. It has the wonderful ability to have historical references but also freedom, and it has some kind of androgynous element that I think is a big influence from my personal background and the clothes my father wore. The non-leather sneakers are also a very significant part of the collection because of what sustainability and my ethics about using only vegan products means to me. This was something I really wanted to incorporate in the menswear, because I don’t find that an emphasis on sustainability is evident in men’s fashion.
Were there any muses you had in mind when designing the collection? Was your husband an influence?
I’m not a big muse-type, I’ve never been good at muses. I have a lot of friends that are actors or musicians, and it wasn’t like they directly came into the process of design, more just when we were working on it I could see them in it. But, yes, naturally when designing I thought of the men in my life.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010