For her SS21 womenswear collection, fashion designer Stella McCartney used, as she is calling ‘our global summer of pause’ to be reminded of why she’s a fashion designer so that she can give back her art to the world. Collaborating with twenty-six artists, people she has known throughout her design journey, McCartney asked if they’d pick one letter in the English alphabet and visualize the letter with free rein.
Putting her thoughts on what matters most, McCartney wanted to re-enter the post lockdown world being mindful and conscious, ‘but how does one do that,’ she pondered for months. She put what really matters the most into words and came up with a manifesto- The McCartney A to Z Manifesto. This manifesto she shares in a statement, is, “a map of our DNA and a blueprint of our future intentions; everything we know, believe and love about fashion,” she notes. “I wanted to define who we are and who we hope to be. It is a guide to keep us accountable and a challenge to be the best sustainable fashion house anywhere.”
The Stella McCartney SS21 collection was the last show of Paris Fashion Week, in the form of digital, rounding out ten days of shows. The collection film was shot by Mert and Marcus at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England. The filmmakers worked to create a collection that focused on themes of nature, art and fashion.
With twenty years of fashion design under her belt, McCartney has also been trying to ensure that her brand is not only purposeful but also sixty-five percent sustainable with zero waste. Seventy-eight percent of the collection is made with organic cotton, the Lylo flip flop outer soles are made with fifty percent recycled materials, and vegan cruelty-free bags can be seen throughout the collection with summer colors.
“Moving forward in our upcoming collections, we’re pledging to further minimize our waste and use of raw materials, and to increase our use of repurposed and upcycled fabrics,” she says. Knowing where her brand’s products and materials are sourced from and where they are made are important for McCartney.
The collection is made with free-flowing silhouettes as McCartney tells a sartorial story of the woman with a kinesthetic lifestyle and actively dreams of freedom through a connection with her body, nature and art. Sporty looks made with organic cotton and linen fabrics occupy the collection, and rich color tones from khaki, peach, tangerine orange, rosy pink, sky blue, bubble gum pink, deep flaming red and bamboo can be seen throughout the various looks.
McCartney’s SU21 features form-fitting dresses, safari jackets, and motocross-inspired pants with the aim of marrying an athletic look with the sculptural. Using dead-stock materials like repurposed lace from past collections, she has designed bodycon dresses, cycling shorts and fitted shirts to bring continuity between sensuality, sustainability and sportiness.
The year’s reset has shown McCartney and her team that hope is on the horizon. And this message of hope was seen in other brands throughout Paris fashion week. Fashion designers are leading in the message that though there is trauma around the world from the pandemic, better days are coming, and that is why McCartney and her fellow fashion designers continue to produce collections. The collaboration with twenty-six artists is really a pledge to deliver on promises of sustainability, hope, and diversity to do better as in industry.
What the Stella McCartney SS21 A to Z Manifesto