Stella McCartney sent along rose-colored glasses with the invitations to her show this season, but they really weren't necessary. The charm of her show was visible to the naked eye. Strict tweed pencil skirts worn with blousy cropped satin jackets in pinks and mauves were a modern version of sexy secretary glamour. Ribbed wool trims and tight techno-fiber pants that looked like something you'd see on a snowboarder's half-pipe lent an air of sporty sophistication.
Models walked to a hip-hoppy remix of "My Favorite Things," in which the mundane yearnings for "brown paper packages tied up with string" had been replaced with more glamorous listings: "diamonds and rubies and Stella's dresses." That must have referred to the pretty silk cocktail frocks that closed the show. Done in flower-petal colors with rows of pinkie-size crystals, they're surefire candidates to become the favorite things of party girls from London to L.A.
Yet for all the icy elegance, there was the feeling that something was missing from this collection. Perhaps it was the youthful, cheeky edge that's made the designer a fashion favorite with the kind of woman who will throw an old hoodie sweatshirt over a fresh-off-the-runway dress. This season, with too much tricky Alaïa-inspired tailoring, McCartney seems to be trying too hard. And that, among the seen-it-all crowd that travels in those casually chic circles, is definitely a no-no.