“This is the spirit of now,” the designer said during a Zoom call. “I wanted to capture the powerful energy of the present, and people’s individual energy, too. I wanted this to be for all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities, and to celebrate the freedom of the individual. It’s a much more youthful approach.”
The collection was sporty and high-energy, with bits of cyberspace in the electric bright colour — orange and pink for a long, fuzzy sweater, cobalt for a cropped running jacket with drawstrings, and silvery, pixel-like paillettes on slip dresses edged with bits of brightly coloured lace.
The designer’s logo, spelled out in a retro video game font across the front of T-shirts, one with a winking pink rabbit, was in step with the cyberpunk aesthetic, while psychedelic Art Nouveau swirls on skinny knit dresses added to the escapist, otherworldly mood of the collection.
The Gen Z delirium surrounding Y2K seems almost inescapable right now, denoting the crop tee renaissance and monogram mania. And it appears elements of the 2000s is reverberating across the Spring 2022 shows, with Stella McCartney serving up the era in nightclub appropriate clothing, with a splash of sherbet tones and a side dish of cyberpunk codes.
McCartney’s models swayed and staggered in ultra-short iridescent dresses as she wanted them to seem like they were dancing in a club or a party, contrasted with ruched styles rendered in tangerine orange and psychedelic prints; hypnotic hues of cool blues and lavenders. Scuba is the supreme material, sculpted into bodycon and A line dresses with exposed lace, and tiny corsets
Sickly sweet pinks and pastel yellows sit alongside fitted double-breasted jackets paired with voluminous trousers, probing the awkward period between childhood and adolescence. Toying with elements of rave culture, McCartney incorporated its most decisive symbol, the smiley or a suggestion of it by inscribing Smile or Keep on Smiling on knitwear pieces and tights, paired with sweeping cyberpunk raver pants.