Stella McCartney‘s pre-fall 2017 showing was an eclectic collection of pajamas and casual daywear, with a handful of easy day-to-night transition pieces in the mix as well. With a runway set at the Cotton Club in New York, there was a huge turnout for the party event. It’s almost shocking to see the turnout, since it was a Tuesday night in Harlem and also coincided with U.S. President Barack Obama’s farewell speech. But, then again, it’d be a shame to miss out on one of McCartney’s get-togethers.
These types of events are becoming commonplace for the designer, but they’re definitely not becoming boring or overplayed! She has begun throwing parties like this for each of her pre-season collections, and it really does set up the perfect mood to show her feel-good clothes. This season, those clothes came in the form of character-printed pajamas, sweater dresses, and even denim – amid all of the fabric options, everything carried such an ease that the designer is known for.
The character pajamas in organic cotton were derived from The Dandy, a British comic, but you don’t have to know the source to fall in love with the quirky prints and pieces. But if that’s not your speed, there were smart casual daywear options as well, like her midi argyle sweater dress. With two scales of argyle, for the body and the arms, it’s still a bit quirky, but with a whole lot of style and class. It’s comfy and easy to wear, and will even help keep you warm in the fall.
An unexpected set of eight tomato red garments also took to the runway, in suiting, lace, sequins, and plenty of fringe. All of these things show how McCartney took inspiration from her venue; the Cotton Club is all about the jazz era – picture white tuxedos, uptown drinking, romance, and glamour. McCartney said she chose the Cotton Club because, “the fusion of fashion and music with this venue is so historical. When you’re young and want to be a designer and you look at images of the Cotton Club, it’s so inspiring.”
She is also continuing on with her anti-animal-cruelty symbols. Last season we saw looks that were anti-fur and anti-leather; this season was about “Fur-Free-Fur,” as seen on a patch on her puffy and oversized faux fur outerwear. This really works to bolster the feel-good vibe of the whole event, from the party atmosphere and good company, all the way to the clothes and the stances she takes through them.
In an interview with Vogue, McCartney succinctly summarized the entirety of the evening. “I’ve always dreamed of going to the Cotton Club. I just wanted to have a party here.”
And a party she had. The night was complete with a surprise performance by Alicia Keys, who, of course, sung “Empire State of Mind,” as was befitting of the location. McCartney teased the performance at the beginning of her event, saying, “You have to stay for my secret guest. Trust me, I don’t have shit secret guests.”
This ensured that a larger group stayed, and at 8:30, Keys walked on stage to sing, wearing a fuchsia dress inspired by the ’30s with a glittering comb in her hair. “Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York,” but let’s also hear it for Stella McCartney, for putting on such a spectacular event for her pre-fall lineup.
Photos courtesy of Stella McCartney