Stella McCartney has built a reputation on her ability to gauge what women of her generation want to wear. In her second collection under her own name, McCartney, now 30, did an about-face from her jokey, nightclubby presentation for Spring, and set off in a newly sophisticated direction.
The designer sent out gentler layerings of the turn-on pieces she's become known for starting, with satiny, slightly padded parkas featuring raw edges and a tracery of the naïve hand-stitched embroidery she's used before. The cool factor was there, but McCartney also unified the whole collection with a subtle color statementsoft, elusive tints of oyster, ivory, plaster pink, washed-out grays and mossy faded greens. Her super-narrow gray-ish jeans zipped at the ankle and combined with high-heeled, two-tone pumps with round toes provided the base on which she layered georgette dresses and some great tops. Chunky cable knits and a fashion-freak version of the classic U.S. Air Force aviator jacket looked strong, but not too street. McCartney's takes on tuxedos, high-waisted double-face cashmere coats and long chiffon gowns rounded out a collection in which she drew a line in the sand about who she is, who she's addressing, and where she's going next. The girl has grown up.