FASHION FUNGI: Introducing the Summer 2022 campaign
Fungi are everywhere, even if we do not see them – in the soil and in the air. Many experts suggest that when our ancestors ate psilocybin-infused magic mushrooms, it opened their minds to spirituality, culture and language. Fungi connect us all, rooted in our species’ past and offering hope for our shared tomorrow.
Despite their importance to Earth’s ecosystems and potential for innovations across medicine, food and materials, 90% of fungi species remain undocumented. Mushrooms do not get the attention they deserve, largely because many do not understand them or are afraid of them. Our Summer 2022 collection chooses to optimistically celebrate fungi – as the future not only of fashion, but our planet.
Starting with this powerful notion, Stella McCartney Summer 2022 takes a psychedelic trip into nature. The campaign was shot by iconic creative duo Mert and Marcus at the Marqueyssac gardens in the South of France and at the Espace Niemeyer in Paris – this season's runway show venue. The space gives the sense of being in a mushroom cap, an iconic nod to Oscar Niemeyer’s artistic expression and openness.
Stella was initially inspired by the documentary Fantasic Fungi. The film explores these incredible organisms’ largely untapped potential – from psilocybin treatments for cancer and mental health conditions, to breaking down waste and oil spills through mycoremediation, and fighting climate change.
Guided by mycologist and Entangled Life author Merlin Sheldrake, Summer 2022 will explore these possibilities through mushroom culinary events with globally renowned chefs, synthesiser music created from the sounds of fungi growing by Cosmo Sheldrake and this season’s hand-drawn print, emblazoned on luxury wallpaper by British heritage fabrics house Cole & Son.
If we want to save all our skins from the consequences of the climate and biodiversity crises, we need to stop fashion’s use of animal leather and furs. Mushrooms present a vegan alternative that can be grown regeneratively, renewably and quickly. How can you not be obsessed with these fantastic fungi
While often referenced interchangeably, mushrooms are only the reproductive structures of fungi. Most of these organisms live their lives as mycelium – branching networks of tubular cells. In mycofabrication, mycelium is used to create everything from biodegradable building materials to packaging to vegan alternatives to animal leather such as Bolt Threads’ Mylo™️.
Presented at the Summer 2022 runway show, the Frayme Mylo™️ is the world’s first-ever luxury bag crafted exclusively from this verified vegan, certified bio-based mycelium leather alternative – available to purchase later this year. Realistic but not plastic, it helps reduce our use of petroleum-based products and does not contribute to animal agriculture – accounting for approximately 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and driving the destruction of vital ecosystems like the Amazon.
Key Summer 2022 styles also feature hand-drawn mushroom prints on fringed trousers and shrunken waistcoats, contrasted with biophilic cut-out pieces on compact knit tops and form-fitting dresses. Pulling heavily from nature’s vibrancy, we evolve our signature effortlessness – evoking a sensual femininity, whilst encouraging Stella women to redefine sexiness through feelings of softness and lightness.