how the men in stella mccartney’s life inspired her new collection
Hot on the heels of debuting her inaugural menswear line, we asked Stella about how Savile Row and great British style played a part in its inception.
She's the daughter of Paul McCartney, is married to the dashing and inherently stylish creative director Alasdhair Willis, and has no shortage of effortlessly cool men populating her front row (Kanye West, Woody Harrelson, Mario Sorrenti and Mark Ronson, since you asked!) — all pretty handy when designing a menswear line for the first time.
Stella McCartney has been at top of her game for fifteen years, making her luxury line one of British fashion's biggest success stories while spearheading the industry's progression to a more ethically responsible and sustainable future. Her recent foray into menswear was met with mass acclaim. Dismantling some of the rigidity of formal tailoring, Stella's suits are laid back and youthful; her logo-laden sweaters, scarves, and totes are the perfect accompaniment.
Inspired by her beginnings in Savile Row and her long-term base, London, Stella's collection visually encompasses her past and inspirations into a modern offering all men will be clamoring for. So we asked the designer why now felt the right time for the Stella woman to meet the Stella man.
What was the starting point for this first menswear collection?
I drew influence from so many different things during the design process, it's hard to say one thing in particular was the starting point. I looked to all of the men in my life; I looked to Britain and to music, of course. Over the years I've done a few bespoke suits for friends so that was a place of comfort for me. I've also always loved the way my father dressed, and wanted to incorporate styles form the various different phases of fashion he has lived through.
Did the men in your life serve as inspiration?
They absolutely served as inspiration. I looked to all of the men in my life when designing this collection; my husband, my father, my friends. I also looked to great men of the world, artists, writers, photographers — people that have made an impact.
How did your Savile Row training come into play?
My training at Savile Row comes into play in every aspect of my design process, for both men and women. Since my time there coincided with my college years, it became an innate part of my designs; it's always been in the DNA of my brand. I want to be able to create a wardrobe for men, and I think an important part of that is classic tailoring that ties everything together.
Who is the Stella man in relation to the Stella woman?
I think the Stella man is a complement to the Stella woman, both in who he is and the way he wears his clothes.
How much did London have to play when you were thinking about the mood of the collection?
London played a huge role in this collection; it's really like a nod to the musical history of London and the different subcultures that are rooted here. I really wanted to capture London's unique feeling and spirit in the menswear.
What do you think is inherently great about male British style?
I think there is an ease to male style and the way they wear their clothes that I really admire. I absolutely love London street style; men just aren't afraid to express themselves here. That's a quality I want the Stella man to hold, and I want to be able to create a wardrobe that allows him to express himself in whichever way he wants.
Text Lynette Nylander