The Green Queen

di Chiara Bottoni

Stella McCartney has built up a young, cool brand around an eco-friendly outlook and she has now been chosen to create the Team GB kit for the 2012 Olympics.

The Green Queen
Happening-dinner for the new Evening collection

She is one of the hottest names on the international fashion scene and her label was the first at the high end of the market to champion an environmentally-friendly approach. Stella McCartney has not put a foot wrong in recent seasons. Her outfits have appeared on red carpets and been lauded by the press for their fresh, cool style. Her Falabella It Bag has become a must for every self-respecting fashionista. And her latest collection – which went on show in Paris during the prêt-à-porter week – provided further proof of her ability to put together the perfect image for contemporary It Girls, with a number of fun, streamlined and highly desirable looks. It featured embroidered baroque decoration on mini dresses, patch tops and close-fitting knitwear. It was no surprise when she was chosen by her home town of London as its queen of style for the most eagerly awaited event this year: the Olympics, which will take place in the British capital this summer. She has been asked to design the kit for Team GB alongside the sportswear brand Adidas, with which she already has a long track record of collaborations. London was also the setting for two special events that got 2012 underway for Stella McCartney: the “World of Stella” happening in the department store Selfridges, during which the designer’s new fragrance “Lily” was presented, and a show/performance for the launch of her evening collection. Furthermore, London has seen the opening of a second store in the Brompton Cross area. All of these initiatives have helped to make the PPR-group brand into one of the most iconic and sought-after brands of the moment. The designer sees them as a sign of great personal and professional recognition, as she explained in the following interview.

How important is it for you to be involved in the event of the year in London?

I am a British designer and I was born and raised here, so working for our national team means a lot to me, on both a personal and a professional level. It is a huge honour to be chosen. As the creative director of Team GB, I will have to take countless things into account. It really is an enormous task. I have tried to use the clothes to depict the pride of a nation, while bearing in mind the need to cater to the technical requirements of the athletes. This job involves working for the best sports stars in the world and trying to give a boost to their competitive performances while also making them feel strong and at ease. In addition, I had to be mindful of the fact that everything will be broadcast on television and watched by billions of people. The challenge is to offer something different and interesting. There are so many things to consider and rules to follow. All of this means that it will be a really exciting experience that truly puts me to the test.

You also put on a show in London to present the evening collection.

I wanted to do something truly special in London. With this collection, I chose to celebrate women and their femininity. I tried to create looks for a number of different builds and ages.

You were the first person to champion the idea of eco fashion and show that it is possible to be environmentally friendly and stylish. What message do you want to send out by choosing this approach?

For me, the most important thing is to respect the environment. I know that I can never attain perfection, but I try to achieve the best results possible. Every season is a real challenge for me. For example, take the search for suppliers. One time our organic cotton might come from Peru and the next time it might be Spanish. I have always tried to show that it is possible to produce excellent output while protecting our planet. I believe that I have demonstrated that it can be done.

An impressive example of this is your successful Falabella It Bag, which is made of an alternative material instead of leather. The same could be said of the shoes with biodegradable soles that were presented at the last show in Paris. How did the Falabella come about?

I wanted to create a bag that could take on endless identities. These might include day and night, statement and understatement, a new appearance or a vintage look, and the ability to make your outfit or play with it. Falabella means all of this to me. It offers perfect balance between infinite worlds.