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stella mccartney cruises into summer in new york

There is no question that Stella McCartney’s resort collection is THE most fun, not-to-be missed moment of the season. At an Elizabeth Street sculpture garden in SoHo, NYC, she presented her latest, a masculine/ feminine print heavy mash-up.

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There is no question that, among the myriad resort collections shown in New York over the coming weeks, Stella McCartney’s is the most fun, not-to-be missed moment of the season. The party atmosphere of the presentation, complete with giggling gaggle of models, live music (Samba this year), and casual bar, feels like the official opening for summer for fashion in New York. It’s easy to forget you’re at a fashion presentation with so much conviviality and honest good fun. Last night Stella chose the Elizabeth Street sculpture garden to present her pre-spring collection, tucked away in an intimate, verdant pocket of SoHo.

The clothes were a light-hearted masculine/ feminine mash-up, heavy on print and color, with a throwback superhero motif that made its way onto ponchos, swingy dresses, and what’s sure to be a heavily photographed bag. Dresses and skirts layered over trousers in saturated hues gave the vintage silhouettes a fresh feeling; in the signature Stella style that is at once pulled together but completely comfortable. McCartney devotees of all ages, from Cara Delevingne to Peter Beard, chatted while the music and cocktails flowed. Amid the swirl of a gorgeous, and blessedly rain-free, summer night we chatted with the designer about this latest collection, some recent accolades, and her parents’ wardrobes.

While you’ve been in New York this week it was announced you will be honored by Lincoln Center in the fall for your work with the Women’s Leadership Council there. How does that feel?
I'm a little overwhelmed by it. I’m half New Yorker, so it’s a big deal. I understand the significance of it, and I’m a huge admirer of the Lincoln Center and the arts within it. I’m just completely blown away, and it’s very exciting.

For resort, what was the story and where were you taking it?
I love working on spring and it was about really coming alive, and the freshness of the season. I looked a lot at my childhood and my parents and at their individual wardrobes. How the masculine and the feminine in my mum and dad really complemented each other. And their relationship around the clothes. And how there was a crossover of wardrobe and how that was maybe more allowed during that time. I was thinking a lot about freedom. The clothes in general at that time felt very similar in a way, from a man to a woman.

Did they share clothes, your parents?
Ha, no I don’t think so, no. But there was a similarity and there was a feeling of freedom; a little more lightness to the approach and it was more eclectic. People were making their own things and patching things on and they had more humor and more effortlessness. It was easy and perhaps a bit more personal.Their clothes were sort of evolving with them, and they would add or take things off as they changed. It was more free the,. I think fashion of late has been quite constraining and has had a little dictatorship thing going on.

And this is your answer to that?
I’m not one of those designers who dictates and constrains. I wanted to have the collection, or the people wearing it, to be allowed to wear the clothes you want to wear, for the clothes to also be timeless and beautiful, but at the same time to have the sense of a human within it. I wanted to bring some freedom. So there is a lot of color and a lot of print and there are the Stella superheroes. We made a nice energetic collection. You know, it’s spring, or the start of it, and its all about new life. There is a lot of sport still in the accessories, in the elastics and the shoes especially, and then also my tailoring, the masculine tailoring that I always have, but it is meeting femininity a little bit more here.

You talked about growing up half New Yorker and this neighborhood, SoHo, has changed many times over since then. What does this place mean and was there any reasoning behind choosing it?
Being here, tonight, was very much about being outside, celebrating the season and celebrating New York. It’s a big deal for me to show here and always means the world to get back here. I get all of my family and friends around me. My mother was from here and it is just a very special place. But also, to be right here in this place [Elizabeth St. Garden] I wanted to highlight these precious pockets in NY. They exist but they’re in danger and they need to be supported and they need to be recognized.

stellamccartney.com