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Stella McCartney A/W11

Mid-20th century couture shapes were given a modern update by the Brit designer

It’s already crystal clear Cristobal Balenciaga’s body of work has been infiltrating the A/W11 season, permeating the shapes we’re seeing with curves and volumes in ways that reference the Spanish couturier. Stella McCartney was no exception, except her sensibility for approachable simplicity makes these Balenciaga-curves and her own aesthetic a perfect match. So we opened with rounded sleeve dresses in navy and black as well as tuxedo jackets that are staples of the McCartney look. Volume got pushed into a cream coat as well as a modified baseball jacket that had puffed-out patent sleeves and extended into a long black coat. Despite the volume and curvature, nothing ever looked bulky or needlessly round.

The collection then took a shiny turn towards a print in gold and silver that looked like rumpled liquid satin from a distance, that graced dresses and a matching jacket and trouser suit. The progression from day to night is clear when midnight blue crushed velvet cut into slinky cocktail dresses as well as an explosion of white and black cut-out polka dots embroidered onto sheer pieces underneath. Cut-out black dresses covered in lace where the skin is bear and often in a dangerously seductive way ended a show that was as it has been in the fast few seasons, covetable and controlled. The core of the collection still remains at well-cut jackets, trousers and coats, all benefiting from the inclusion of curves that softened up even more, the persona of Stella McCartney.