Is felt sexy? After taking in Stella McCartney's engaging show, it's clear that, yes, in the right hands, it can be. McCartney, who has made the intersection of seduction and sporty ease her stomping ground, didn't reinvent herself this season, but she did turn out what we've come to think of as Stella-ismsthe sweater dress, the swing coat, the inventive alternatives to furin new cozy-chic incarnations.
She looked to her British heritage for her Fall motifs. Heraldic flags decorated long, off-the-shoulder knit dresses and oversize scarves; traditional broderie anglaise graced softly unstructured poet blouses and dressing gowns. If, at a time when tailoring has moved to the fore, McCartney's collection was a little light on the sharp Savile Row suiting that launched her career, well, tailoring's just not where her head is at.
The designer dedicated her show to her family and "to everyone who believes you do not need fur in fashion." While you won't find a lot of those in her front row, they're out there, and McCartney offered some viable stand-ins for this season's omnipresent fur chubby: a pair of oversize washed-mohair sweaters, worn with short chiffon skirts. As for that aforementioned felt, the mottled gray coats, with their big volumes cinched by faux-leather belts, scored points for making something so stiff look so cool.