I’ve always thought that covering someone like Stella McCartney would be a tough call. There is a lot of detail that can rarely be said and written about without being abstract or even impermanent, neither of which really give a true and whole picture of the person and where she comes from. And it is the bigger picture of these people, people like the McCartney’s, that most other people find difficult to fathom. It is the most difficult to understand, simply because it is a vast area to cover and grasp.
The article from Marie Claire UK listed some of Stella McCartney’s curriculum vitae (CV) but even then, it is still a brief glimpse of what is behind the name. That is not to say the press and media have the right to hound them, dissect them and dig holes. So, maybe the question is: “Why even bother knowing more about such families and people?”
Such are the industries that the McCartney’s have chosen to enter i.e. music, vegan health food products and fashion, that require the level and depth of detail that make such individuals so tough to cover without boggling the readers and audience.
The question could then be asked: “Do we then even need to learn about these people in print? I mean, they’re out there already, why do we even need to ‘study’ them?” Because it is only right in so many different ways. Otherwise their lives become thankless tasks that are under-appreciated, under-valued and their potentials and reach are under-used and thus their positive impact and influence (of which they have plenty) are reduced, to the detriment of many.
It happens, but it’s not great that such valuable people might fall by the wayside.
The magazine article contained a photographic box of
‘Without Stella we wouldn’t be wearing… ’
| mega ruffles | slouchy menswear | oversized knits | statement blazers |
Anyway, here are some quotes I picked from the article.
Quotes from a ‘Life Stories’ article:
– Fashion’s Rock Chick
As she turns 40, Stella McCartney has finally found acclaim in her own right, after years of wrestling with her famous name.
From Marie Claire UK magazine,
September 2011, no. 277, p. 139
… to understand Stella McCartney, say those close to her, you have to understand the push and pull that her family name has exerted on her.
— on the antagonisms that have affected her
‘The press slags you off when you have anything to do with your father, and yet, that’s what they want to write about,’ she says. ‘It’s a total double-edged sword being the child of a public figure.’
— on how family fame affected her establishing her own merit
She has described her childhood as: ‘Very normal, in a very abnormal kind of way.’
— on her life as a child
She would, recalls one childhood friend, cringe with embarrassment at anything Beatles.
— on being picked on at school
… a fellow student remembers a reserved young woman who many of her contemporaries were deeply suspicious of: ‘There was a lot of resentment and jealousy directed at her. You have to remember that that was a very creative time at Saint Martins – we were also there with McQueen and Hussein Chalayan… ’
— on Stella McCartney’s time spent studying at Central Saint Martin
…a fellow student remembers… ‘Stella was designing pretty dresses to be modelled by her celeb friends. There was the suggestion that she wasn’t particularly creative.’
— on criticisms of Stella McCartney’s level of talent
McCartney soon learned that if she couldn’t be popular, she might as well get on with being successful.
— on tough times at Central Saint Martin
She famously hung a Union Jack out of the window and sourced some shabby 70s chairs, which eventually had to be replaced when bits of them started sticking to the derrieres of the Paris fashion elite.
— on being 25-years old and re-vamping the atelier of Paris-based Chloe in 1997, before hitting the designs
There was an enthusiastic response to her obvious talent for tailoring and flair for feminine touches, but also a feeling that some of her designs lacked sophistication.
— on Stella McCartney’s work for Chloe
While mourning her mother, McCartney also appeared to draw strength from the great belief that Linda had always had in her.
— on how she coped with the death of her mother, from breast cancer, in 1998
Lisa Armstrong, fashion editor of The Daily Telegraph, remembers: ‘People like her aren’t actually that good at keeping something of themselves back, so their only line of defence is silence.’
— on Stella McCartney’s relationship with the press
All of McCartney’s work continues to be conducted with the strict no-fur, no-leather values that her mother instilled in her.
— on her morals and ethics
Marriage and motherhood have, say some, softened her.
— on her maturing as a young woman
But perhaps one of McCartney’s greatest achievements has been to finally uncouple herself from her family name. These days, fashion editors and designers simply refer to her as ‘Stella’. The name ‘McCartney’ is still there in the background but it’s no longer used as a yardstick against which to measure her success.
— on overcoming herself
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