McCartney minimalism reflects new austerity

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Stella McCartney opened the proceedings at the Paris collections yesterday with a show that went to prove that the return of minimalism to the international catwalks is the story of the autumn/winter 2010 season.

With their cashmere sweaters, stovepipe trousers, and polished sling-backs with the new mid-heel – not to mention a prevalence of androgynous tailoring cut short and worn with legs bared – models brought the upscale, impeccably groomed New York uptown girl of the mid-Nineties to mind.

Nude make-up and sleek ponytails tied low at the nape of the neck only added to this impression which, after seasons and even years of high-octane glamour and an overload of surface embellishment, will doubtless be well-received by women the world over.

Ms McCartney is by no means the most pioneering of designers. Instead, her aim is – and always has been – to create clothing that she and her friends might like to wear. This, however, was a far cry from the vintage-inspired, quintessentially English – and specifically west London – aesthetic with which she made her name, and therefore a sign of changing times if ever there was one.

There were shades of Michael Kors in clean, linear, ultra-luxurious, double-faced cashmere jackets and tunics in oversized stripes of camel and black, all with barely a fastening in sight. Over and above that, though, the handwriting of the great Austrian designer, Helmut Lang, was very much in evidence in the form of tunic dresses with fluttering trains that trapped oversized sequins in diaphanous layers of organza, thereby ensuring that they appeared matt – far, then, from flash. Fisherman rib knits – also seen on the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto's catwalk earlier in the week – were more relaxed still: think Blue Peter although, admittedly, somewhat more upscale than that.

The jury is still out as to whether so-called "real" clothes – roughly speaking, the type most women, as opposed to just the celebrity A to Z-lister, might covet – will be a good thing for fashion in challenging economic times. This was, after all, classic clothing that may therefore be worn season after season, threatening to make the need for an endless reinvention of wardrobe redundant. Whichever way one chooses to look at it, McCartney's intentions rang out loud and clear: no-frills fashion is the order of the day once more, and she is by no means alone in believing that.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £30,000+

    £16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

    £40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy