For Fall 2022, the designer collaborated with artist Frank Stella to blend luxury with the stylings of colorful abstraction

In a glass-encased tube atop the Centre Pompidou, minimalism and maximalism intersect for Stella McCartney’s Fall 2022 collection. The house’s collaboration with the iconic American artist Frank Stella proves to be more than just a catchy play on names—Stella and Stella—with unpredictable silhouettes that blur distinctions between wearable clothing and sculptural art.

Each piece cannot be summed up by merely one or two words, but requires an excess of descriptors for an accurate picture: embroidered gunmetal chain fringe decorates silky dresses, industrial shirts are defined by oversized breast lapels and exaggerated breast pockets, and puffy recycled nylon Frayme bags with tonal chains take cues from modernist ’70s furniture.

A conscious sense of luxury is not new to McCartney’s practice, as this season, a majority of the collection was composed of sustainable materials like recycled nylon and polyester and regenerative NATIVA wool. But as war rages on, the house took another step toward acknowledgement of the out-of-place feeling of extravagance amid political turmoil with a pointed and personal antiwar message. The show opened with a recording of John F. Kennedy’s “A Strategy of Peace” speech and closed with Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” ensuring recognition of the disconnect between the decadence of fashion week and suffering of war remained prominent through the show, and surely resonated with its attendees long after.