Before sustainable fashion, there was Stella. Long before there was a glossary of phrases related to fashion consumption, or a handbook to guide you through, Stella McCartney was making her mark with an indelible commitment to not use fur, skin or leather. Always at the cutting-edge while others lay blunt, she’s pushed the world’s most staunchly engrained brands to also go against the grain and embrace more ethical approaches.
Ever the forward-thinker, she’s enlisted three future stars to collaborate on a new ‘Shared 3’ capsule that’s, obvs, as sustainable and ethically produced as usual. It’s part of the brand’s A-Z Manifesto, falling under ‘Y’ for Youth (no ‘X for X-Ray as per usual in this alphabet, btw, but a genius ‘X is for Kiss), all three designers fizzing with playful creativity and warranting serious attention.
First up is Ed Curtis, known for his off-the-wall, acid-trip designs, pivoting around primary colours and grin-inducing illustrations cribbed from childhood memories. Ecstatic and dynamic, his pieces make us remember that you can’t spell ‘fashion’ without ‘fun’, assuming, of course, you’re scribbling preliterate, half-learned words in crayon. For his section of the collection, he’s created a spray-painted, free-handed version of the brand’s logo, applying it to chunky knits and crewnecks made from regenerated cashmere and traceable wool. Elsewhere, eighties geometric graphics are printed on tripped-out co-ords, optically merging into a single design.
Where Curtis opts for ecstasy, the capsule’s second designer Maisie Broom – founder of Myfawnwy – goes for fantasy, heading to the forest with psychedelic pastels and mushrooming silhouettes. Broom’s trademark faces find their way onto button-ups and oversized tees, ready to be paired with silk boxer shorts, baggy track pants and a pale lemon hoodie. Hand-marbled prints (like those ones from Octavia Banks that we adore) are abound, swirling into each other like unmixed paint.
Completing the trio is Antwerp-based artist Tom Tosseyn, known for his work grounded in underground subcultures, nineties club scenes and digital worlds. Like Curtis, he’s reinterpreted the Stella logo, but also added a new ‘Restoring The Balance’ strapline, emblazoned on spellout sweats and fleeces. He’s also further drawn on the Manifesto, running with the letter ‘S’ (for sustainability, duh!) for a jumper reading ‘Safe’, ‘Strawberry’ and ‘Sky’ and so on.
While we’re on all things ‘S’, there’s also a new set of Stella Stan Smiths, reimagined via embellishments from Curtis and Broom. Other accessories include the Falabella Bag and Cardholder adorned with Curtis’ remix of the logo, plus balaclavas and mittens for the bitter winter ahead, both knitted in fittingly dark, arctic tones. There are limited edition posters, too, ready to slap on your bedroom wall with zeal.
In short, it’s all a proper joy. While many high-profile names play it safe by teaming up with each other, creating an infinite feedback loop of already established brands, Shared 3 is a lot more exciting to us. Handing over the keys to the creatives of tomorrow, it’s a vote of confidence for graduates, whizzkids and mavericks, reminding us that the future is in the hands of next-gen artists – not tired old fashion houses churning out fur.
Stella Shared 3 is available now here, accompanied by a profile of each artist.