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Stella McCartney has opened the doors to her famed label allowing some of her classic designs to be re-interpreted by a trio of young designers.
For her new capsule collection, named Stella Shared 3 (launched October 11), three emerging creatives were tasked with making new prints to revitalise McCartney house classics, from faux fur bags to her vegan Stan Smiths.
Peckham-based designer Ed Curtis represents London in the project, providing his touch of club-kid, doodle-like magic to oversized cardigans, warped geometric print denim, and spray painted tights as well as taking over the Stella McCartney Old Bond Street flagship store. Joining him in designing the greater collection is Maisie Broome based in New York City and Tom Tosseyn from Antwerp.
“I shared my platform with next-gen artists who interpreted our values through their visions”, says McCartney. “Stella Shared 3 continues this spirit of collaboration today, remixing indisputably Stella pieces with prints by incredible talents of tomorrow, collectively advancing by sharing our respective skills, resources and communities.”
For Curtis, it was just the project to drive him through last winter. “The Stella McCartney team got in touch in February when we were in lockdown and I didn’t have lots going on,” he says on the phone from his South London studio. “And it grew from something very small into this really big, wonderful thing.”
By March he had decided to ditch social media for five months to dedicate his full creative attention to the project and a new collection for his eponymous brand. “I made this big body of work without distractions, because I really wanted something more meaningful and I think that the results are showing. It feels stronger to what I was doing before.”
The past three Ed Curtis collections are all wacky, hand drawn prints on skin tight Lycra and knitted sweaters; a favourite amongst burgeoning musicians like Griff. The McCartney collaboration has maintained this sense of pure fun. The campaign shoot captures a naked Curtis running wild in the flagship store, clutching his re-vamped Falabella bag designs and jumping around a room decked with his artwork. He has scrawled Stella’s name on shoes, added striking blue prints to regenerated nylon puffer jackets, and blasted psychedelic prints across sweat suits.
“I didn’t want to just provide some artworks and leave the rest to them,” Curtis says. “This is about creating a whole world around the clothes, and it’s been so nice to be given the opportunity to do this with the imagery, set and through an installation in store,” he says. The 23 Old Bond Street shop space, open to all, has been fully transformed into a Curtis wonderland – from the graffiti covered glass window, to his scrawled posters that cover the walls inside.
So has he met the pioneer of sustainable fashion design herself? “We zoomed,” he says with a chuckle, “which was only supposed to be 20 minutes max, but we ended up chit chatting for longer about our love of Russian spas, a nose surgery I had, plants and mushrooms. I’m really looking forward to meeting in person this week.”
For Curtis, who only launched his own label in 2019 having worked at Hillier Bartley and Calvin Klein Jeans under Raf Simons, this pairing has felt like a full circle moment. “The earliest Stella collection I remember was during the first year I moved to London, Spring Summer 2011. It was packed full of these printed fruits; tangerines and pineapples,” he says. And it exuded positive spirit, his greatest inspiration.
“I loved how vibrant those prints were, and that’s what I aimed for with this collection: colour, vibrancy, high energy. If you saw someone waking down the street in it, I really just want it to make you feel happy.” Who can argue with that?
Ed Curtis’ installation and collection is available to view and purchase at Stella McCartney, 23 Old Bond Street October 11 - 30, £150 - £1595, stellamccartney.com