As ever, during lockdown Stella McCartney has been paying close attention to the attitudes of today’s youth and, despite great turmoil and uncertainty, she found solace in a vibrant sense of gender liberty and inclusivity that has since fed into the designer’s first-ever gender-neutral collection, titled Stella McCartney Shared.
“While my collections have always been an effortless dichotomy of feminine and masculine energy, inspired by my parents’ shared wardrobe growing up and my training on Savile Row, today’s youth are naturally open-minded and fluid with gender,” the designer tells us. “I think it’s beautiful how they inclusively celebrate individuality and diversity, and are using their self-expression to affect social change – to create the world they want to see, collectively rising up in the face of the climate crisis and global social unrest.
I love how they approach life and style with an activist perspective, whether it be tearing down the male/female binary or demanding sustainability from brands, and this is so aligned with our values at Stella McCartney.”
Crafted as a youthful, genderless expression of positivity in the face of what has been a dark year, the capsule collection is meant as a uniting emblem celebrating a 360 view of individuality and diversity. Within this new mindset, McCartney creates a bold and luxurious line-up of key pieces that can be easily shared between wardrobes: signature relaxed tailoring is key, while jersey and knitwear pieces offer true comfort. As an extension of the collection’s spirit of inclusivity, a collaboration with London-based artist and illustrator Will Sweeney punctuates the collection with his signature psychedelic, sci-fi patterns, printed across shirts and loose bottoms.
On the inspiration behind these surreal patterns, Sweeney tells us: “We initially worked around a theme of utopian-urban landscapes inspired by Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, the paintings of Roger Dean and 70s sci-fi scenery – combined with rawer, more graphic elements referencing American gas station uniforms, DIY punk flyers and 80s British dub LP sleeves. A pretty mixed bag, really. We filtered through these references and I reinterpreted them in my own way; I tried to let my subconscious lead the way as I didn’t want to overthink the prints. The design team at Stella then edited and arranged the material I sent them, so it was a really nice collaborative process.”
Stella McCartney Shared is available online and in-store now.