The enthusiasm of volunteers has always been key to the green movement. Step forward Stella McCartney to this yearâ€™s Green Carpet Challenge.
The enthusiasm of volunteers has always been key to the green movement. Step forward Stella McCartney to this year’s Green Carpet Challenge. “A year ago, I was asked to be involved in the inaugural Green Carpet Collection, but I wanted to do more than one piece, and commit to much more,” said the designer, who volunteered to take the eco baton single-handedly. Tonight she showcased a sustainable evening capsule collection amid the grandeur of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, alongside cohosts Livia Firth, Natalie Massenet, and Anna Wintour.
“The green carpet is the most sought-after validation in the fashion world for sustainability and excellence,” said Firth, dressed in a moonstone-embellished white Stella shift dress from resort. “I keep thinking, Wow that’s all eco. It still surprises me. It’s not a token garment or two. It’s a full collection,” added McCartney.
Long minimalist gowns (some with dramatic, floor-length capes), and abstract prints were splashed across optic white shifts. The punchy shades of cobalt and cerise were attained with water-based ink. Even the seventies-inspired shoes came with heels that were made from sustainable wood. “Work it,” joked Mary McCartney, who was capturing this graphic lineup of models on film in a retro photography studio that could have been straight out of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up.
The cool classicism of the collection was presented with a fun-house mentality; rooms where many a Nobel laureate has pondered were dressed with recycled film props. Stella Tennant propped up at the “bar,” built with reclaimed materials from the film The Theory of Everything. Meanwhile Samuel L. Jackson strolled through “the forest,” which had been re-created with shrubbery, trees, and other materials from the sets of films like Les Miserables, all recycled from the lots of Pinewood Studios, in association with the Forest Stewardship Council. These vignette-like settings provided the perfect fit between physical ease and psychological stirring. Tonight, after all, was about raising awareness. “This building encompasses heritage and quirkiness that is so British like Stella and her designs,” said Firth, who plans to wear the minimalist cape dress on the red carpet at the next available opportunity. “My eye is totally set on it.”
The collection itself was divided into two stories, shown in Mary McCartney’s photo studio and “the artist studio,” a gallery-like room where former students of the Prince’s Drawing School captured McCartney’s bias-cut gowns that juxtaposed sweet florals with come-hither lace. “Stella gives everything her own exciting feel you would not find live drawing at an average Fashion Week cocktail party. Stella simply has her own style,” said Mario Testino. “I’m 60 this year and I am longing to have my portrait done. A present to myself. Maybe I’ll find my artist here!”