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Stella McCartney's show at Paris Fashion Week says sustainability doesn't sacrifice luxury

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LA Post: Stella McCartney's show at Paris Fashion Week says sustainability doesn't sacrifice luxury
AP
THOMAS ADAMSON
March 04, 2024

PARIS (AP) — A greenhouse in Paris’ Parc Andre Citroen was a fitting stage for Stella McCartney's ecology-minded showcase at Paris Fashion Week on Monday.

The British-American designer had star-studded endorsements — a front row with the two surviving members of The Beatles, Ringo Starr and her father, Paul McCartney, in a seldom-seen joint appearance — and the backing of the luxury conglomerate LVMH to spotlight the urgent need for the industry to reckon with its impact on the planet.

“We are one of the most harmful industries," McCartney said in a challenge to luxury houses.

Here are highlights of the fall-winter 2024 ready-to-wear collections.

SEQUINS OF RECYCLED ALUMINUM

The fall collection began with an expletives-laden film voiced by Oscar winners Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren that invited the world to protect Mother Earth. Stella McCartney's message was clear: Glamour need not come at the earth’s expense.

Cue sequins made from recycled aluminum, sparkling faux-diamond crystal lattice details and alternative leather handbags. Mock crocodile-skin trenchcoats were fashioned from AppleSkin, a vegan leather made from apple waste. Dramatic wool coatdresses (one modeled by model of the minute Lila Moss, Kate Moss ’ daughter) sported cascading shaggy hoops, prompting one fashion insider to christen it the "new fur coat."

Stiff shoulder pads offered an '80s whiff to the collection, while a stylish, asymmetrical vegan leather stud dress provided a flash of punk. Sometimes the silhouette got lost in the shaggier looks, such as one limp black jumpsuit, but to dwell on that would be to miss the point.

‘INFILTRATE FROM WITHIN’

That sustainability need not lead to compromising on opulence for luxury garments was a message aimed at the influential Antoine Arnault of LVMH, the world’s premier luxury group.

McCartney told The Associated Press her aim for the industry is to “infiltrate from within." The fashion sector contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, she said, underlining the urgency for change.

“I’m fighting inside, and they’re very open-hearted to it. I’m very encouraged," she said of LVMH, which bought a minority stake in her brand in 2019.

McCartney said the clout and backing of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault “gives a really, really loud message to the industry.”

In a fact sheet sent to guests, LVMH noted that 90% of this season’s ready-to-wear is crafted from “responsible materials."

MELANIE C IS A STELLA FAN

The former Spice Girl was all smiles greeting McCartney after the show before taking selfies with fans, interspersed with refrains of “girl power.”

Melanie C said she has admired McCartney’s designs for “a very long time.”

“Being a sporty girl, I love the little nod to sport with the little rip away, with the denim and the vegan leather,” the artist formerly known as Sporty Spice told the AP.

The singer said found the collection with its eco-message “so moving. So prevalent. But it takes designers like Stella to get that message home.”

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