Oct 6, 2009
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Stella McCartney show taps into family memories

Oct 6, 2009

By Sophie Hardach

PARIS (Reuters) - Stella McCartney paid homage to her famous parents with a collection of 1970s bohemian dresses, loose jumpsuits and high-waisted trousers on Monday 5 October.

Stella McCartney

Her father, former Beatle Paul McCartney, sat beaming in the front row, watching models sashay past in vibrant red ruffled sun dresses and low cork wedge heels named after his late wife Linda, the designer's mother.

"It was as fabulous as ever, it was inventive, beautiful and feminine -- and she's my baby," Paul McCartney told reporters after the show.

The collection featured plenty of Stella McCartney's trademark casual, wearable clothes, which is likely to cheer executives at the Gucci Group, owner of the brand.

Masculine blazers, shirt dresses and a loose jumpsuit were meant to evoke a "summer elegance and energy," she told Reuters, while the shoes were inspired by her mother.

"I'm always inspired by my mum," Stella McCartney said backstage. "I wanted to capture a woman that's naturally confident enough with herself to wear a lower heel, and I think we got that, and that's the Linda shoe."

There have been few surprises at the spring/summer 2010 shows, with designers following a commercial lead, digging into their archives and opting for flattering, feminine cuts.

One of the more challenging looks for next summer is the 1950s-style high-waisted culotte, which was seen in Milan and re-appeared in Paris at a series of shows including McCartney, Christian Dior and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, said buyers for the big department stores were still cautious and looking for clothes with an emotional appeal to consumers.

"Designers are going back to what they do well," he told Reuters at the Giambattista Valli show on Monday 5 October.

(Additional reporting by Claire Watson)

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