I like to think that long gone are the days when wearing real fur was seen as the done thing. It was associated with class a high status even. I guess in some places it still is but what is great that in a lot of places it so isn’t the done thing. Today I want to talk about a love of mine. That is fashion especially high fashion. I am a big fan of the runway, I love seeing what’s on trend and what my favourite celebrities are wearing.
On Saturday I had the absolute honour of spending time with the team at eco-friendly high fashion designer Stella McCartney’s new boutique located 23 Old Bond Street. Stella has finally made her mark after many years of hard work and is now located amongst other top designers, in this iconic street in London one of the world’s fashion capitals.
The experience was like a dream for anyone whose love for fashion is coupled with a love for protecting the environment.
Alexandro (Alex) a member of Stella’s team gave me an in depth tour of all four floors as well as a sneak-peak inside the special members only room and a lot inside info!
Stella work’s is driven by eco-friendly values and this shows all throughout her new shop which has been designed with unique and multi-sensory ways to engage with the brand’s world. The idea is to engage each of the customer’s five senses (sound, sight, smell, touch and taste). As you walk in your sound is stimulated by a message of love. A message to reinforce a feeling of love for your environment and all other living beings (no coincidence then that the store has seen a proposal already). You instantly feel relaxed.
The store is the first indoor commercial space in London to feature Airlabs that clean the air using nano carbon technology making the air the cleanest in city, up to 95% pollution free. I could honestly feel this during my four hours there.
In addition, Stella McCartney has made every effort to use more handmade, organic and sustainably sourced elements in its new store design, in line with the brand’s commitment to sustainability. Hand selected pieces of pine wood transported with her shipments as well as rocks, moss and flowers from both Stella and her famous fathers’ gardens are also featured in the stores’ display to promote the values of recycling and reuse. She basically has a version of her garden in her store.
The store’s interpretation of luxury is a little different to its neighbours. Where other fashion houses have used showy swathes of rare stone or glossy metals to clad walls, Stella’s outpost is lined with humble but elegant pebble-dash, squeezable recycled foam and textured card. Handmade papier-mâché, made using waste paper taken from the brand’s London offices has been transformed into bespoke decorative panels which decorate the wall of the women’s wear first floor.
Moving on to some of Stella’s signature designs her handbags move away from the traditional use of leather and use viscose from sustainably certified forests in Sweden. And the inside of her iconic Falabella bags are lined with recycled content from plastic bottles cleaned up from Oceans. She is now working to develop silk-free silk.
Stella also encourages the reuse of her own products through the RealReal online platform.
I could go on and on and on about the intricacies and the way sustainable values are woven not only into the store design but also the designs and the values of customer service adopted by the staff. It just goes to show that traditional perceptions of high fashion are/can be challenged. Sustainable is sexy and you can rock the catwalk and wider fashion industry and protect the environment as well as raise awareness whilst you are at it!
I really enjoyed learning about it all and the cherry on the top was being styled in some of Stella’s designs!
Thank you Alex for making this possible and giving up your time so generously and Jennifer for the styling (pictured below).