Horses on the catwalk: Stella McCartney pushes leather-free style

Stella McCartney drove home her leather-free fashion message by sending a team of horses to canter alongside models wearing styles crafted from new, eco-conscious materials.

The designer said she sought to explore the relationship between humans and nature.

“There’s been so much leather and feathers, especially on the runway this season,” she told Reuters after the show.

“I just really want to show everyone in the world – and the world of fashion – that you don’t really need to do that,” she said. Materials used in her collection are derived from mushrooms and apples, for instance, and wine grape waste was used to make the label’s curvy S-Wave bag.

<a href=paris fashion week, stella McCartney” srcset=” 1200w,,450 283w,,600 378w,,1220 768w,,405 255w,,1536 967w,,238 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”/> Model presents a creation by designer Stella McCartney during Paris Fashion Week. (REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier)

At the show in the Ecole Militaire stables in Paris, seven horses, guided by their trainer, Jean-Francois Pignon, performed individually and in formation.

With a nod to their fellow performers, some models wore horse patterns, while others carried images of horse photographs taken by McCartney’s sister and her mother.

Their high heels sank into the sandy floor as they paraded long, tailored jackets, cinched at the waist, furry overcoats, some resembling dappled horses, and, in contrast, silky asymmetric dresses lined with lace.

Actress Jessica Alba, singer Avril Lavigne and model and designer Camila McConaughey watched it all from the front row, alongside members of LVMH chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault’s family.

<a href=paris fashion week, stella McCartney” srcset=” 1200w,,300 450w,,400 600w,,512 768w,,405 608w,,100 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”/> Models present creations by designer Stella McCartney during Paris Fashion Week in Paris. (REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier)

LVMH owns a minority stake in the label and McCartney serves as environmental adviser to the entire luxury group.

Her connection with horses goes deep.

“I’ve been riding since I was born,” said McCartney.

“We grew up in the middle of nowhere, really, bareback on horses. I just remember falling off them all the time and getting back on all the time.”

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