Future Vintage. Stella McCartney SS23

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.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!


Hot Glam. Blumarine Pre-Fall 2022

Hello baby gorgeous, here’s some hot Blumarine pre-fall 2022! Having catapulted the Italian label in just three seasons from oblivion to the firmament of hot fashion brands, creative director Nicola Brognano keeps on fueling the craze for the 2000s – and he isn’t planning to change that anytime soon. “It’s a territory I feel very confident exploring,” said the designer, who was born in 1990 and thus is quite knowledgeable on the matter. So, apart from the Paris-Britney-Lindsay trifecta, who’s the new high-wattage 2000s muse? “Gisele Bündchen,” he answered. “Gisele was stratospheric, gorgeousness incarnate, she still is. That sexiness brasileira. Who’s the woman who doesn’t want to be her, yesterday, today, or tomorrow?” The thing is, the Blumarine girl isn’t such a naughty teenager anymore: “She doesn’t sit in her bedroom combing her hair in front of the mirror listening to Shakira or Beyoncé,” Brognano said. “Now she wants to get out of the house, basta.” Teenager or not, she’s very much the agent provocateur. Enveloped in a flame-red cashmere fur with a leopard-print lining, worn over a flame-red tightly draped miniskirt not wider than a belt, and a matching ribbed brassiere, she’s ready to stop traffic the minute she bids goodbye to her bedroom. For pre-fall, Brognano provided variations on the theme: plenty of exposed midriffs, bare legs, and alluring décolletage options. He also upped the dramatic ante a notch. Tight cargo pants were cut in pink, low-slung bell bottoms were made in brash golden leather; stretchy, drapey, slinky minidresses with asymmetrical, slashed hems were rendered in both black and “mean florals.” Glamorous faux furs in icy white were printed with a lynx spot, giving off a luxurious, sexy vibe. That’s hot.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Wild Horses & The Sea. Chloé SS01

In the yesterday’s Insta-episode of “Never Worns” by Liana Satenstein (I highly recommend following her @schmattashrink!), she talked to journalist and fashion critic Alexadner Fury about his museum-worthy archive collection, and vintage trends that might be big soon. He mentioned Stella McCartney’s Chloé as a fashion moment that just waits to become sought-after on the market. I personally love Stella’s era at the French brand from the early 2000s, and I wish she did more of that carefree, sexy, trippy thing at her brand now. So, 20 years ago, the designer certainly did not disappoint her legions of fabulous young fans. For spring-summer 2001 season, in addition to delivering sexy new T-shirts and plunging bathing suits (with playful pineapple motifs – this sent shock-waves in Paris that day and eventually ended up being a feminist moment), McCartney explored grown-up territory, of course according to her signature princess-at-a-party style. Perhaps drawing inspiration from Elsa Schiaparelli’s inventive chic, McCartney worked graphic horse prints (borrowed from Stubbs and Géricault) into loosely structured diagonal-seam dresses and beautiful jackets with a softly draped triangle shoulder. Skirts were long and relaxed, perfect when paired with lightweight, flouncy off-the shoulder tops. Wide-brim hats and dainty pillboxes with a tulle overlay gave the look a touch of ’30s sophistication. More casual pieces included sexy jeans with zipper pockets and metallic horses galloping along the backside, and a T-shirt with strategically placed banana appliqués in the front and the words “Keep your bananas off my melons” in the back. This was one of the most memorable Stella-at-Chloé collections and one that confirmed her talent and potential as a major designer. I feel like those are clothes we want to see, love and wear in 2021 (or in post-COVID era that will eventually arrive, right?). Slightly hedonistic, beach-perfect, wild like a graceful mustang and simply sparking joy.

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – 25 Years. Dsquared2 AW20

While I can’t recall Dsquared2 catching my attention in the last few years, Dean and Dan Caten‘s men’s autumn-winter 2020 show – simultaneously being their 25th anniversary show – was something the label needed: sharp, naughty and distinctly Dsquared2. The collection paid homage to the label’s past – think whild, shouty, at times crappy 2000s fashion. Probably the oversize knit blanket coat was a nod to Naomi Campbell’s first look at their notoriously great autumn-winter 2003 airplane show. There was Western-inspired style they conceived for Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” video. The collection was also all about sultry pioneer vintage. The silhouette was narrow at the bottom (tight kicked pants and jeans for boys, bare legs for girls topped by under-butt skirts) and volumized above (big shearling jackets, fake-fur fringed herringbone overcoats, a great waxed horseman’s long coat). Also, when was the last time ripped denim and plaid shirts looked so hot? One might wonder if the beginnings of 2020s should look back at 2000s fashion in such a literal way. But it’s Dsquared2, it’s a glossy, loud, non-stop after-party.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.