2010 October 4

Runway Reviews: Stella McCartney, Chloe

Stella McCartney Spring 2011 Stella McCartney Spring 2011
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Are you ready—really ready—for the return of the '90s? Stella McCartney is not talking about the Calvin Klein-esque minimalism that has intrigued so many of her contemporaries. She's thinking about culottes, boxy blazers, mid-length pleated skirts, oodles of denim, and blazers, blazers, blazers. The crowd at the Opera Garnier wouldn't have been surprised to see a stirrup pant. As Blur's 1994 hit "Girls and Boys" reverberated throughout the hall, McCartney unleashed ultra-highwaisted, cuffed "floods," khaki-colored silk separates, boxy denim tunics (worn with the aforementioned culottes), and a series of box-pleated silk dresses with two almost-indecent slits showing the entirety of both legs. Directional? Absolutely. Will those audience members old enough to have tried these silhouettes the first time brave them again? Maybe not—but expect Stella's youthful disciples to feel the nostalgia. The second half of the show focused on a gorgeous citrus print, all photorealist slices of orange, lemon and lime on silk satin and cotton dresses. Especially when used in a silk blazer, they will work beautifully for any era.

Hannah MacGibbon has been almost universally dubbed as "one to watch," which explains why her show venue in the Tuileries was so packed and flashbulby this afternoon. In her nearly three years at Chloe, she has coaxed the house's focus away from its signature repertoire of it-bags and girliness, made so relevant by her predecessors Phoebe Philo and even Stella McCartney. Instead, MacGibbon is developing a more business-friendly model of seasonless separates and refined, lifestyle-friendly accessories. (Guests entering the tent were approached with Chloe ribbons spritzed with the house's latest scent, first-floor-at-Saks-style.) MacGibbon's Spring collection was full of very wearable and ultra-basic silhouettes like flat-front lightweight wool trousers, linear crepe overcoats and jacekts, and jersey turtlenecks in, as liner notes explained, "beige and cream shades that Hannah MacGibbon favors." C'est compris. But with a few exceptions, namely in draped jersey tees and micropleated, tea-length skirts, it felt a little too familiar. Or maybe it's just hunger for scallops?