Fashion critic

One in a series on the clothes having a moment at Paris Fashion Week:


Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection finale. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

PARIS — There was something both lighthearted and tough-as-nails about the fall 2017 collection that Stella McCartney sent down the runway Monday. Some of it had to do with the mix of soft knits, lace and tailored menswear fabrics that made up her collection. Fearsome power and elegance were juxtaposed in the prints of “Horse frightened by a lion” taken from the work of the English painter George Stubbs.


Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

But an awful lot of the tone was set by the pointy little bras worn by the models. The first models wore knitwear that had the bosom delineated by subtle, concentric stitching. The details drew attention to the breasts but didn’t elicit a stare. But then the bosom became more of a focal point until it looked as if nipples would soon be poking right through the finely woven knitwear. It was hard not to stare at such aggressive breasts. Stand back. They look a little dangerous.


Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

The pointy bras were modeled to a soundtrack dominated by a single line from the Princess Nokia anthem “Brujas.” “Don’t you f‑‑‑ with my energy.” It was a refrain repeated again and again as the models made their circuit through the rooms and corridors of the opulent Palais Garnier.

McCartney’s finale included an homage to the singer George Michael, who died on Christmas Day last year. The models danced to excerpts from his hit “Faith.” But those lyrics were soon mashed up with a chant of “faith” and “love.” As well as the take-charge rejoinder, “Don’t you f‑‑‑ with my energy.”


Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2017 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

In 2017, the pointy bras are not about trussing a woman up and putting artificial constraints on her natural shape. And they aren’t just an aesthetic lark. They are a metaphor about a woman harnessing her own physical strength. All that womanly energy is — yes — focused, erect and pointed.

Don’t mess with it.


Stella McCartney takes a bow after presenting her Fall/Winter 2017 collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Also at Paris Fashion Week: 

Luxury fashion is desperately trying to woo millennials. That’s good for everyone.

Comme des Garcons wants you to think about our beauty standards. Really think.

This designer wants to swaddle you in so many yards of sensual velvet this fall

Balmain, unofficial designer of the Kardashians, finds inspiration in … Nirvana?

The bizarre hats at the Rick Owens show were definitely unnerving. In a good way.

Saint Laurent is trying too hard to be sexy, and it’s just not working

You’re afraid of bold prints. Dries Van Noten will help you get over that. 

At Off-White, another hot young designer who can’t figure out what to say to women