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Arts / Museums

Britain’s Ultimate Cool Girl Takes Over NorthPark Center

Step Inside the Museum in the Mall — and Be Star Struck

BY // 04.06.16

British fashion designer Stella McCartney is the ultimate cool girl. Raised by a rock-star dad and a musician-photographer mom, she never does things the dull way. Her pre-fall 2016 presentation is one example: She commandeered legendary L.A. record store Amoeba Music, packed it with her pals (Kate Hudson, Ringo Starr, Mary J. Blige and more) and staged performances by an eccentric lineup (Marilyn Manson, Johnny Depp, Pink and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson), all as models hung around in McCartney’s groovy, ’70s–inspired collection.

This month, she takes on Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center with a pop-up museum, dubbed The Stella Museum of Art, constructed on the third floor. Large-scale photographs from the Amoeba extravaganza, snapped by artful lensmen such as Emanuele D’Angelo and John Salangsang, will hang on the gallery walls. And, of course, there’s a Stella museum shop with her latest collections of shoes and handbags. The entire installation is on display Wednesday through Sunday, April 13 through 17 — perfectly timed for the art happenings slated throughout the month.

McCartney herself drops in for a private event co-hosted by PaperCity on Tuesday, April 12. We caught up with the designer to check in on everything from art to her fascination with Annie Get Your Gun.

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PaperCity’s Christina Geyer: What excites you about combining contemporary art with fashion?
Stella McCartney
: I grew up in the arts. My mum’s dad, who was a really chic man — a class act — had a Park Avenue duplex filled with de Kooning, Giacometti, Picasso and Rothko. Then my parents [Paul McCartney and photographer Linda McCartney] were also creative, so it’s been a very natural link for me.

CG: Tell us about your creative process.
SM:
We react to what’s going on around us, picking up on the general feeling within the atmosphere … I very much design each item, rather than outfits. Every piece is an object. I’m very interested in the psychological aspects of what I do. I’m much more driven by the way that men or women choose the things that they wear and how it makes them feel good, affects their mood. I try to take that on board.

CG: How have music and photography impacted your personal and professional life?
SM:
Very early on I knew I wanted to do something in the arts. I spent a lot of time growing up in my parents’ wardrobe, trying on their clothes. I remember a pair of my mother’s white platform boots, as well as the bespoke suits my parents wore. Around age 7, I loved watching old Hollywood films from the ’50s, like Annie Get Your Gun, which inspired me to be a fashion designer.

CG: How does maintaining sustainable animal-friendly fashion challenge you creatively?
SM
: I was always told that I’d never have an accessory business because people associate leather with luxury. But I am approaching it in a different way … So, for me, it’s about questioning the process. Fashion has to modernize. It has to challenge its history. I can be modern and on-trend … but actually, beyond all of that there’s a different kind of modernity that’s driving me, in partnership with great design. It’s about the bigger picture, about the future of our world and how we can help impact that.

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