Stella BEFORE she was the grown woman she is today

From her 3/18/98 show. See McCartney News for articles.

Groovy Stella joins the star attraction

Those who live there are known as the "Westbourne Groovers". This pocket of streets where Queensway meets Notting Hill Gate in west London now arguably houses more trendsetters, style leaders, models and actresses than any other pocket in the capital.

The latest fashion queen to move to this epicentre of hip chic is Stella McCartney. Sir Paul's daughter has just bought a house in Westbourne Park Road, on the market through the agents Winkworth for £695,000.

Ms McCartney joins the likes of Henry Dent-Brocklehurst and his new Hawaiian bride Lili Maltese, who live in Courtnell Street; Paula Yates, who this month began to rent there; and Mick's daughter Jade Jagger, who lives nearby.

The area has benefited from its mix of white stucco Victorian houses; shopping in Ledbury Road which Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman dubbed the most fashionable in London; and proximity to the long-established chic of Notting Hill, where the likes of Chris Evans and Mariella Frostrup live.

The area will become even more prominent soon with the release of the film Notting Hill Film (working title) starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Hugh plays William, a travel bookshop owner who lives in - guess where - Westbourne Park Road.

One day, into his shop comes Anna (Julia Roberts), "the world's most famous movie star". The film chronicles their complicated courtship and much of the area too.

Ms McCartney's purchase was delayed, understandably, by the death of her mother Linda last month. But now she is the proud owner of a four-floor family house with a 28ft master bedroom suite, plus fireplace and bathroom on the top floor, leading up to a galleried study area with a miniature roof terrace.

There is a double reception room on the ground floor, two further bedrooms, a second bathroom and a knocked-through basement floor with a kitchen, a Japanese-style garden at the back and a dining room at the front.

The house is already decorated with the bright, minty Mediterranean blues and greens and minimalist chic that Ms McCartney is thought to favour. There are terracotta tiles downstairs, a Shaker-style kitchen, a white bedroom with wooden floor, and windows and fireplaces still with their original shutters.

Her previous abode, believed to be a studio-cum-flat in Notting Hill where she also worked, has been kept secret by a woman who fiercely guards her privacy. Presumably she will divide her time between her new home and a flat in Paris, where she works for the House of Chloe.

Last year, Ms McCartney, 26, was appointed chief designer at Chloe to the sounds of what one commentator described as a "chorus of strangulated miaowing" from jealous fashion wannabes who complained that she had only designed three commercial collections of her own and had never staged a catwalk show.

She immediately ripped out the grey carpets from the floors of her new Paris offices in favour of a parquet floor, installed funky turquoise tear-drop chandeliers bought from flea markets, and covered the walls with a collage of famous faces, such as the Queen, Donatella Versace, William Hague and Diana, Princess of Wales, and hung a Union Jack from her window.

House prices are said to have increased more in the area than anywhere else in London, locally by around 50 per cent since the worst of the slump in 1992. Agents Winkworth report that a three-bedroom house that would have cost around £300,000 in 1992 would now fetch £400,000 to £750,000.

In the words of Carrie Segrave, author of The New London Property Guide 1998, it is an "extremely fashionable" area. "Fifteen years ago it was considered dangerous," she says. "Ten years ago it was adventurous. Now it's in danger of becoming respectable.

"There are a lot of big houses there. They were split into flats when the property market dived but if you are seriously wealthy now you can get a house. There are lots of Tube trains, taxis to the West End, and the Paddington train direct to Heathrow.

"It's a nice mix. Saying you live there is like saying you're not boring."

Westbourne Park Road: Stella's £695,000 new home:

FROM THE BBC NEWS 10/15/98 Stella honours mother Linda and Paul McCartney at Stella's first show a year ago Fashion designer Stella McCartney has dedicated her new spring collection to her late mother Linda, at a Paris fashion show. It was a year ago to the day that Linda McCartney was seen publicly celebrating her daughter's first collection for the French fashion house Chloe. The latest show marked the first anniversary of the 25-year-old landing the job of chief fashion designer with Chloe. Up to 200 photographers were there to capture her new creations. Among the 400 guests to attend were former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr's wife, Babara Bach, musicians Mick Hucknall and Neil Tennant, and actress Beatrice Dalle. McCartney gave a very public dedication to her mother after receiving a standing ovation for her collection. "This collection is dedicated to my mum. Everything. Also to my dad, brother and sisters, who have kept me strong. Everything. Always, Stella," she said. The audience at the old Paris Stock Exchange witnessed McCartney's spring/summer collection which included bikinis and low cut creations accentuating the bodice look. Part of the show was set to the Beatles classic song, Hey Jude and the audience was also entertained by out takes of President Clinton vehemently denying his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Fashion journalists dubbed the collection the "Yes tonight, Josephine" look. And Sir Paul was equally ecstatic over his daughter's collection. He said: "She is the real thing. "I am very proud of her because she is a serious English designer more than holding her own at the heart of Paris fashion. "It is beautiful, just beautiful. It's a credit to the family. Here we are seeing real clothes for real women to look really good in. "I love this collection. It's the best so far. They are day clothes which will appeal to women on the street."

ARTICLE FROM CNN McCartney's 'mum' inspires romantic clothes at Chloe October 15, 1998 PARIS (Reuters) - The stars of rock n' roll turned out for Stella McCartney's spring/summer collection for the house of Chloe on Wednesday and saw romantic and infinitely wearable clothes far from the cutting edge. Dedicated to her mother Linda, who died of breast cancer in April, and to ex-Beatle father Paul and siblings in the audience, the gossamer-light outfits were fresh, youthful and sexy, if not ground-breaking. Ringo Starr's wife Barbara Bach, Mick Hucknall from the group Simply Red and the Pet Shop Boys rubbed elbows with French actresses Beatrice Dalle of "Betty Blue" and Valerie Kaprisky. "What I'm just trying to do is contain my natural impulses and get back to work," rang out U.S. President Bill Clinton's voice on a recording of his deposition as scantily clad models began sashaying down the catwalk in slinky satin slip dresses, their hems flaring like tulips. Pastel pretty In a spectrum of candy shades -- pale blue, dusty pink, mint green, and lavender -- camisole tops edged with old gold lace or ruffled chiffon blouses flecked with a wilting flower print rippled over shimmering satin skirts. Their hair loose and unbrushed or pulled up in a loose chignon, the models teetered along in high-heeled pastel mules, curves undulating under feather-weight fabrics. A front-row line-up of male executives jabbed each other in the ribs as heads turned in unison to follow the nubile girls stalking by with necklines plunging and barely veiled bottoms. Asked after the show how she would dress Monica Lewinsky if she could, McCartney answered: "Probably in a dress and preferably one that would be dry-cleaned." 'Femininity and fluidity' Wearing her own unlaced corset under a blue suit that matched her eyes, Stella told a reporter her inspiration was "just summer and the mating season and women feeling good and looking good. Confidence, femininity and fluidity." "I'm not one of those designers who have, like, Cleopatra as an inspiration, I just take real life. "My mum inspires every day of my life and it comes out in my work as well, but it's just one part of it. I had a good feeling about this collection, like she's probably looking over me to make sure it all goes okay," she said.

From The TImes 10/26/98 FASHION Stella McCartney's latest collection was highly praised in Paris. She tells Fashion Editor Lisa Armstrong about being a Beatles daughter and the recent loss of her mother Like mother, like daughter: "My Mum was quite ahead of her time in the things she wore," says Stella McCartney My Mum even wore Chloé when it was really hip in the Seventies 'My Mum was incredible. Everyone who met her felt the same . . . She was strong, motherly, normal, warm. I'll never meet anyone else like her. I just hope I have some of her qualities' It comes as a shock to find scruffy chaos behind the doors of Chloé, that most fragrant and demure of French ready-to-wear houses. In London, just a few days before a show, debris would be normal, but French anarchy never looks much more dishevelled than a well-staged Helmut Newton photograph. This, however, verges on grunge: office girls eating pizza out of boxes, packing cases overflowing. The fittings (matt black) and fixtures (ropey) have more than a stale whiff of the 1980s about them. "This place was gross when we arrived," says McCartney, skilfully bouncing over a leatherette armchair on her way to her atelier. With her large, inquisitive eyes, tousled Brit-girl hair, well-behaved Mockney accent and the twentysomething uniform of black sporty clothes, she looks like someone who can't wait to get back to her own quarters. Her studio overlooks the British Embassy ("My God, those rookie diplomats in the rooms facing the street have seen more than their share of naked breasts in the past year," notes Chloé's PR gleefully). If you wanted to show the divide between French Old Guard and Young British Turk via interior decoration, it's here in this airy white studio with floor-to-ceiling windows and all the paraphernalia of bohemian London: Fat Boy Slim pounding on the stereo, stripped wood floors, flea market chandeliers, overflowing ashtrays, semi-dressed models flitting around in mules and a Crazy Zone where McCartney and her sidekick, Phoebe Philo, pin pictures of people whose style they find arresting. This little corner of Chloé is as British as the embassy. Along with Philo and McCartney, Edward Sexton, the dapper tailor McCartney first met when she was an apprentice on Savile Row and whom she imported to Paris to help her to achieve the English tailoring she loves to use at Chloé, darts around the models, pins in mouth, tape measure around his neck. In the centre stands the head of the atelier shopfloor, a grey-haired Parisian with chignon and severe navy trouser suit, scrutinising the way an air-brushed T-shirt dress hangs on a model. "C'est stretch," offers McCartney helpfully. Not fluent - she insists that she doesn't really live in Paris, despite keeping a flat there - but a token effort. The Parisian nods congenially. If there's any residual resentment about having to take orders from a 27-year-old British ingénue with a limited grasp of French, it's not immediately apparent. "For all I know they may go home at night and moan like mad," says McCartney, "but so far everyone in the atelier's been great." The transition from small-time London designer to big-name Paris house hasn't been entirely easy. On her appointment 18 months ago there were the inevitable cries that she had been hired because her father is Paul McCartney. Karl Lagerfeld made some especially pungent remarks. Then the first collection got rave reviews. The second, last March, with its rock-chic biker jackets, deliberately tarty styling and general larky London approach, didn't survive the journey to the citadel of bourgeois good taste altogether intact. The reviews, distinctly less rapturous, were, you sense, a shock. "The thing is, the models loved that second collection; they wanted to take the outfits home. But some people didn't get it and I didn't realise that two or three journalists have the power to break you." She could have panicked, or retreated. With the death of her mother, Linda, last spring from breast cancer, she had the ultimate get-out clause. But she knuckled down and, though she won't admit it, took some of the criticism to heart. The third collection, which she was still working on during the interview and which showed in Paris two weeks ago, was slick, pretty and universally praised. Like their creator, her finely wrought silk skirts and pretty ruffled tops are pointedly unpretentious. "They're just lovely clothes that I and my friends would want to wear," she says. "The biggest kick is seeing someone in one of my designs." There's an air of cultivated hyper-normality about McCartney, although she has a poise that marks her out. At the comprehensive school that she and her brother James and sister Mary attended in Wiltshire, she would join in general conversations about the previous night's activities, but wisely refrain from mentioning that while her classmates had been at the local pub, she had been having dinner with Stevie Wonder. "Actually, it was a very normal upbringing," she says. "We grew up in the country, went to the local school, had a Mum and a Dad." Having both parents around may not be the most reliable definition of normality any more. Spending months on tour with tutors while your parents take their band, Wings, to the world's bigger rock stadiums isn't the everyday stuff of Little Englander lives either. Nor is having Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss model for your student graduate show. But she knows this. Dealing with other people's resentment is the easy part of being a famous offspring. Coming to terms with the fact that it really does open doors is much harder. "Of course, you sometimes question people's motives for being friendly. You wonder if the reasons you got your A levels was because the examiner liked your Dad's music. You worry that the reason you're designing for a big French house is your name, but in the end you develop a sixth sense about these things." (She might be gratified to know that when he approached her to work for Chloé, its managing director Mounir Moufarrige thought her name was McCarthy and rang his old friend, Patrick McCarthy, a journalist on the powerful Women's Wear Daily, to see if she was a relation.) The sixth sense may be why she seems old for her years. She has never felt the need to rebel. When I say that a child of committed vegetarians might be expected to do something radical such as becoming a butcher she is mystified. "Why? My parents had sound values. Anyway, nobody cool eats animals any more." They do in Paris. They like wearing them, too. "It's disgusting," says McCartney, "but the fur industry pays designers lots of money to use the stuff in their lines." The McCartney values - focus on the family, the work ethic, vegetarianism and all - have clearly stuck. Even her love of fashion was inspired by them. "My Mum was quite ahead of her time in the things she wore. She'd mix big boots with little argyle jumpers and old dresses. She cut her own hair - she even wore Chloé when it was really hip in the 1970s - and she would throw it all together in a really unusual way and always got so much shit for it in the press. "They were the coolest dudes. At the end of a Wings tour in LA they blew the profits, about $1 million, on a white party. Everyone came in white, then these giant air-brushing machines sprayed everyone with colour." (Eat your heart out Alexander McQueen.) At 15 she was slaving for Christian Lacroix in the holidays in Paris. After A levels she went to St Martins. "When I think about how I've worked solidly since school, never even taking a year off, it pisses me off that people imply I'm here only on the family name. Maybe the press would give me an easier time if I was a trust fund smackhead." The press hasn't given her an especially hard time but it's a sensitive issue. The irony - not lost on her - is that having been brought up to shun fame, she finds herself in a business that now requires its successful designers to court celebrity to survive. "I am more jaded than I was a year ago - but that can be positive. I don't fret about things so much since my Mum died." She dedicated her most recent collection to Linda, in a touching note tucked into the programme that read: "To my Mum . . . everything." "She was incredible. Everyone who met her for even ten minutes thought the same. I used to wonder what it was that made people react to her like that. She was strong, motherly, normal, warm. She had all the right values. People thought the animal rights issue was just her sympathising with a cute beagle, but it was much more intelligent than that. I'll never meet anyone else like her - I just hope I have some of her qualities."
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