Stella McCartney Fall 2011

Another fantastic white dress

Trapeze dress in white net with circles stitched over the fabric.

Critics have given Stella McCartney’s latest collection a lukewarm reception. They do have a point: some of the looks did not work; McCartney attempted to take the masculine/feminine thing quite literally and the end result can look, on certain occasions, ill-fitting. But you have to love bravado, and McCartney certainly got over the pantsuit look she masters and tried a completely different venue.

There are pantsuits alright, but usually paired with oversized smocking jackets which looks like the model raided her beefy boyfriend’s closet.  This look is very conceptual and well-worked on McCartney’s part, yet the fit can look accidental and not intentional. Lantern sleeves are mixed in Mylar dresses; the feminine side is depicted by fantastic cocktail dresses in sheer nets and with leather circles stitched into the fabric. Some are fitted while others are trapeze dresses or shift dresses. It makes little difference. Towards the end of the runway we appreciate how the playful dresses combine with the masculine-tailored jackets. This is where both looks work the best.

McCartney has had a tendency to experiment occasionally with pattern drafting and the results were mixed. This is no exception. Whenever McCartney attempts to play with proportions in a bold way, it does not seem to quite work. There is something amiss. She is best with her flower print dresses and sexy tailored suits. The difference is that, this time, she took the risk and went with it all the way. The result? Utterly, but not effortlessly, creative.

Lantern sleeves in pleated Mylar dress

Now in black…

Lantern sleeves, gold fabric. Bold and creative, yet subdued.

Printed pantsuit. My retinas need recovery now.

Gray-colored pantsuit. Notice the exaggerated proportions.

Black pantsuit

McCartney misses with this trouser. Notice the ill-fitting crotch.

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