One of the best collections in Paris was delivered by Stella McCartney, who very smartly sensed the vintage world’s growing obsession with her time at Chloé and her super-hot, kitschy-chic, chaotic-good 2000s collections. The spring-summer 2023 show, presented in front of Centre Pompidou, opened with tweaked reissues of McCartney’s gold chain tops from her Chloé spring 2000 collection worn under super-sized blazers with asymmetrical skirts and net stockings. Amber Valletta didn’t wear the draped gold chain top she originally modeled with white denim hot pants in that same show (someone else did, with an added white tank top underneath), but she wear a tailored jumpsuit like the one Raquel Zimmermann had in McCartney’s eponymous spring 2009 show. The Hadids brought the noughties nostalgia full circle: Gigi in a sculpted cargo suit that echoed McCartney’s Savile Row days; Bella in a shrunken vest and low-riding trousers with rhinestone-encrusted cut-outs around the hips. While at Chloé, McCartney’s influence on the era was so vast that you might wonder why the brand’s current custodian, Gabriela Hearst, hasn’t mined those archives already. Honestly, a crime. Asked if it feels weird to see her own work revived in such a big way, McCartney sighed. “It makes me feel extremely old! My daughter, who’s 15, all she does now is go into my closet and take all my original things. And I’m like, ‘Oh, but I make similar things now.’ She’s not interested. She just wants the ’90s.” Nostalgia wasn’t, however, the driving force behind McCartney’s choice to adapt and reissue these pieces. The Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara was. She used his depictions of children as motifs on garments, and focused the collection around his slogan, “Change the History.” “I want to look back at my history and redefine where I started and where I am now and what the next Stella looks like,” said McCartney, explaining her trip down memory lane. For her, of course, that transition has everything to do with sustainability. She re-evoked the 2000s through the finest technology the 2020s have to offer: garments in regenerative bio-diverse cotton that “encourages nature”; shoes in plant-based materials like faux leather made out of grape skins; bags in mycelium mushroom leather; and rhinestone pieces created without animal glues and solvents. In a season that’s seen desperate nostalgia plunges, like Dolce & Gabbana reviving their Y2K archives with the help of Kim Kardashian, McCartney’s reenergizing of the fashion history she helped shape in such a big way felt both ethically and epically right.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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