Stella McCartney makes mushrooms in Paris

PARIS – On the penultimate day of the ready-to-wear season, the environmental consciousness of fashion, which has been shyly poking its ...


PARIS – On the penultimate day of the ready-to-wear season, the environmental consciousness of fashion, which has been shyly poking its head in recent weeks, is finally making its entrance at the top of its lungs. Well, hello sustainability. I was wondering when you would introduce yourself.

The role of industry in climate change was, after all, one of the great mea culpas of the pandemic. The increased resale has been one of the most significant developments over the past 18 months. But it was easy to forget, it seemed, in the sheer hoo-ha of being back; safer to avoid, perhaps, lest the loads of greenwashing fall (naturally) down.

Then Stella McCartney presented 50 Shades of Nature on the catwalk and made mushrooms her muse. Morels are no longer just for gourmets.

Under the brutalist concrete dome of the Espace Niemeyer, seat of the French Communist Party, which also turns out to have a marked resemblance to a Martian bio-dome, the voice of American mycologist Paul Stamets rang out as he recited a hymn to the powers mushrooms to open the show.

“Trendy,” he sang with great sincerity on the soundtrack, “mushrooms are the future” (there was also synthesizer music created by recording the sounds of mushrooms growing; yes , you read correctly). Fungi form communities, survive and thrive in harsh environments, and are a source of livelihood. In addition, more and more, their root systems are forming the raw material for … substitute leather!

And they’re also, it turns out, as good a source of aesthetic inspiration as Marlene Dietrich in her prime. True, they have helped Ms. McCartney create one of her most fascinating collections throughout the seasons.

It was rooted in the bodysuit, two curved paramecium shapes cut at the neck and sides, paired with puffy parachute silk anoraks or airy cargo pants, sliced ​​to the side. He grew via a hand-drawn toile de Jouy with (yes) mushrooms rather than flowers or animals, in dresses and crop tops dripping with fringes. And then expand to encompass knits with biophilic tracings and tea dresses with the torso gathered to resemble the underside of a portobello, or with a frill on the front like the frills of a chanterelle.

A trio of glittery looks have come in every shade of green, from shiny new leaf to olive. There was even a cute little black leather crescent from a bag in Bolt Threads Mycelium Leather (it’s called Mylo), although the process is still so new, only 100 will be produced. It’s easy to roll your eyes – 100 bags aren’t exactly going to move the dial when it comes to accessory waste around the world – but it’s a start. Sixty-three percent of the materials in the collection are eco-friendly, according to the fashion brand.

The result was a very well made fricassee. Bring the shiitakes, truffles and porcini mushrooms.

They might have added a little umami to Giambattista Valli’s macaron box, celebrating the beauty in tulle, roses, rhinestones and lace, anyway. Backstage before the show, in front of a mood board dotted with photos of gardens and tables laden with elaborate porcelain decors he had found on Instagram, he spoke of beauty as a balm and an escape. Fair enough. But it was difficult to shake the image of Versailles before the revolution, drowned in sugar.

Much like at Chanel, Virginie Viard’s decision to pay homage to the 1980s by recreating the raised catwalks of that decade, with models spinning around for photographers piling up and flashing at their feet, went wrong – even if the clothes did. -same had significantly and effectively lightened.

Swimsuits and curly shorts in juicy tones gave off a delightfully kitschy French Riviera vibe; abbreviated, sparkly black and white coat dresses; loose denim with the power of flowers; and a final of silks of butterflies fluttering with the breeze.

They were pretty, with a kick. There just wasn’t a lot of subtext for them.

At least at Maison Margiela, designer John Galliano was revisiting a host of historical character / costume mash-ups through both storytelling and his increasingly alluring ease of reinventing old clothes, not just by reference to social codes. (It’s an approach that seems less and less sustainable.)

The house has a whole and semi-ridiculous lexicon of its own for this – recicla (as in recycle); spinning (enzymatic treatments that age a material); poverino (the combination of several vintage clothes in one). But, like Marine Serre, who unveiled its collection Earlier in the week, Mr Galliano made one of the most successful arguments for upcycling (let’s call a spade a spade) not as a niche side business, but as a main event on the track.

Or on the screen in this case. Since Mr. Galliano, like Ms. Serre, made some sort of music video for the collection, rather than a show, that had something to do with youth and something to do with fishing and something to do with poetry by William Blake. Most of the time, however, it was all about the imagination and overturning the notion of what has value.

There were herringbone hoods set with tulle and decorated with old fishing lures; candy-colored jumpsuits and skirts with the seams and lining on the outside; a flapper dress made from chains of recycled transparent eyeglass lenses layered over black lace.

Loden wool was mixed with denim and terry cloth (terry at a heroic moment in the recycling arena), knits stitched together like Delft checks and a woolen dress cut here and there as if it had been pecked for reveal the red lace underneath. There were latex socks and the house’s iconic tabi boots recreated from recycled rubber thigh-high boots in Crayola color.

Just in case anyone is wondering what to wear for COP26, the United Nations climate change conference, when it kicks off in Glasgow later this month.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Stella McCartney makes mushrooms in Paris
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