McCartney, who was still recovering from a bout of sickness, was a lovely host. We had the pleasure of interviewing the designer a few months back (You can read the tease here and a copy of our most recent issue for more), and it was an honor to finally meet and speak with her in person. McCartney was a poised, patient speaker and a calm presence. It was easy to lose her in the crowd of giddy, boisterous guests.

Instead of a traditional runway show, models at the event moved about the crowd, “acting” in different areas. We caught them dancing by the brass trio, giggling over a board of Stella/Saks Scrabble and posing by the flower cart.

Most of the models wore pieces from McCartney’s spring 2013 collection, which is currently being sold in Saks. (One sheer, white eyelet ensemble from the summer collection was spotted.) However, we were more interested in McCartney’s upcoming summer 2013 collection, which she recently debuted at Paris Fashion Week.

“For the summer collection. the first real starting point was just to really celebrate life actually,” McCartney said. “I find summer to be a great season to really embrace color and form and texture. I just really wanted to have a real celebration for summer.”

The designer’s upcoming collection contains a wide range of colors and fabric choices, ranging from bold black and white eyelet pieces, to sheer, bright dresses, and even ultra-feminine floral outfits.

“One of the first things that we do each season is we work on color and fabric,” McCartney said. “We develop a lot of our materials now, which is a fantastic thing to be able to do, to work with some of the best mills in the world, a lot in Italy and France, and then we work more locally sometimes, with the British mills. And even sometimes as far as Tokyo. The development of fabric is really key to the process. [We use] mostly hand-embroidered work, using the organzas and color blocking and sort of layering of materials. It’s a huge, huge part of the [design] process.”

McCartney has a strict commitment to using only sustainable materials, and avoiding any fur or leather in her work. Her whimiscal ideas and craftsmanship are apparent in each of her looks.

And while we are swooning over her latest designs, McCarney is focused on the future.

“I just finished fabric to sketch on my autumn collection,” she said. “I show that in January, in New York.”

To shop Stella McCartney locally, please visit Saks Fifth Avenue at Town Center. To view photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page.