Stella’s Sporty Sophistication

Aside from the slouchy masculine-feminine tailoring for which she is known, Stella McCartney also brought a sporty vibe this season with slick outerwear and plenty of leg, writes Lily Templeton for Nowfashion.com.

PARIS, France — Stella McCartney has long cornered the field of sophisticated daily dressing by offering fashionable but not senselessly trend-abiding clothes for the busy woman. Today was no different. The “sophisticated do-it-yourself attitude” McCartney describes in the notes came across as a slightly more casual spin on her active woman’s wardrobe. The zips she used as decorations, drawing squiggly lines of them all over jackets and fronts, then quilting their outlines to transition into the rest, felt like a refreshing twist.

It was true to what keeps her crowd flocking to her banner but also felt like a bit of a youthquake. If anyone can make a “dressy parka” option for the chic set, it’s McCartney. It was also easy to spot which pieces will sell out in a flash: a jacket with lapels outlined with a decorative zip, the snuggly marled coat with sporty ribbed cuffs, those sweater dresses — especially the one with the croc-like pattern sliding down — and slick-looking parkas. And no doubt will the mountaineering rope embroidered sweater also find grace in the eye of her fans.

But even in the slouchy, easy masculine-feminine tailoring she’s always had going on, there was a sense of being pulled together, with wide faux-bi belts that nipped in a drop-shoulder print trench, or later a shorter jacket and later still, a tulip skirt.

Although, there were some tapered stirrup trousers, narrow but not clingy, more often than not, they came without bottoms. That was a lot of leg on the Stella runway, plenty sexy on those with the pins to pull it off, but still easy to mix up for those a bit more shy. As the mood slid to evening, it was all trompe-l’oeil suspended fringing that wrapped around the body with the effortless appeal. Worn with her mannish shoe of the season, it was coolly seductive.

The finale said it all. Stella and her sweet blond brood came down the runway after a dancing finale led by Joan Smalls and — who else, really — cheeky Cara Delevingne. It had the energy of youthful minds, the fashion awareness and the practical considerations that women want. Take away notion from the show? You can DIY but Stella does it better.