Winter 2022 celebrated iconic American artist Frank Stella, one of the most important painters and sculptors of his generation. Introduced as Stella by Stella, the top floor of the Centre Pompidou set the stage for this cohesion of art and fashion. The collection reflected Stella women who are both creators and collectors – turning pragmatic staples into effortlessly wearable art.
Exploring Frank Stella’s career, spanning minimalist to maximalist abstractionism, Stella McCartney was also inspired by his presence on the New York art scene: creating work during the day and mixing with other creatives at night. Animal-free leather and velvet textures are pulled from interiors of that era, with a grounded palette pairing masculine earthiness with feminine makeup tones – energised by unexpected bursts of colour and print. The human body’s sculptural shapes were also highlighted through lingerie and exposed skin.
Frank Stella’s art could be seen both overtly and subtly, with signature Savile Row tailoring featuring graphic prints inspired by his Spectralia – continuing in monochromatic shades on glossy lurex evening dresses. Slim flannel suits were decorated with fine stripes in muted chalk, styled over u-shaped and triangle bras. Linear structures from Frank Stella’s V Series were featured as colour-blocked traceable knitwear twin sets and menswear-inspired jacquard wool coats.
Strong shoulders were a key silhouette on striped Fur Free Fur coats, oversized tuxedo tailoring and boxy overcoats. This masculine energy was contrasted with feminine fluid stretch viscose dresses drawing from Frank Stella’s Ahab print. Cerulean high-necked fluid silk viscose jersey dresses were form-fitted around the midriff before bursting from architected vee shapes into ruching, while sculptural balloon skirts were suspended from underwire bras.
Embroidered gunmetal chain fringe referenced Frank Stella’s metallic sculptures on silk dresses. Sexy was brought back through encrusted lace on bias silk slips, form-fitting forest-friendly viscose lilac ribbed all-in-ones and ruching and twisting on soft pink velvet tops and dresses. Sensuality continued on fluid chintz dresses with ruched sleeve details, red double satin dresses with asymmetric bust lines and long skirts revealing the knee with each step, while romanticism came from exaggerated sweetheart necklines.
An artist’s workwear uniform was elevated with functional details and rich fabrics – including jackets and cargo trousers in velvety soft flocked denim, alongside skirts and polished cotton utilitarian pants with contrast stitching and recycled polyester clip belts. Industrial shirts with oversized lapels and exaggerated breast pockets also delivered a refined pragmatism. Outerwear highlights included fluffy wool Fur Free Fur on shearling coats, long peacoats and shrunken men’s jackets.
A new Monogram shoulder bag was made from an animal leather alternative created using grape waste sourced from Italian wineries located where the accessories are handcrafted. Riffing on 90s styles, a zamac plaque reflected the “S” in the Stella McCartney monogram. Chenille Logo totes and puffy recycled nylon Frayme bags with tonal chains were inspired by modernist 70s furniture, while a limited-edition shoulder bag made from Mylo™️ mycelium unleather elaborated on material innovation.
New this season were Stella McCartney’s most conscious sneakers to date, crafted from a mix of repurposed, recycled and bio-based materials including a grape leather alternative. Air Slides on puffy soles with iconic tonal chains were shaped from factory waste, while vegan cowboy boots were revisited as a stretch boot style in smooth Alter Mat and velvet. Chain earrings in 70s pop colours and limited-edition jewellery inspired by Frank Stella’s eccentric shapes rounded out the accessories offering.