Saturday, 5 May 2012

Vogue Festival Round-up Part 2 - Stella McCartney interviewed by Kate Hudson

Stella & Kate pre-interview
StellaMcCartney has had quite the year - notonly has she designed her usual number of collections (which, by the way isalready huge), but she's also been responsible for every single garment any ofour British athletes will be wearing to compete at this summer's Olympic &Paralympic games - that's over 1,000 extra pieces on top of an already busyschedule - every year the Stella McCartney brand already creates 2ready-to-wear collections per season, plus one range for Adidas by Stella McCartney, one lingerie collection and one for Stella McCartney Kids.

You would have thought,then, that designing ten collections for her own labels on top of the Olympicscommitment would leave her pretty short on time, but she still managed to popdown to last Month's VogueFestival tobe interviewed by long-term BFF and Oscar nominated actress KateHudson, who flew in from LA specially for the occasion. 

It was more of a gentle trip down memory lane than an intense question & answer session, but there are a few gems worth sharing. What was most apparent from the session was that Stella and Kate are shockingly normal - yes, I know, not really normal, but more so than you'd expect...

The basis of Stella's love for fashion
Stella on when she first knew she loved fashion..
One of her earliest memories is running upstairs to her parent's wardrobe and trying on her mum's thigh-high glam rock glitter platforms. (This is pretty cool in itself, before remembering her Dad is Beatles legend Paul McCartney & her Mum late photographer, animal rights activist & all-round goddess Linda.)

Kate on when she knew her & Stella would be BFFs...
Kate had been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Almost Famous & enlisted Stella to dress her for the event. Unfortunately, she ended up on "every worst-dressed list possible" & didn't win the oscar -

Kate Hudson in that dress, 2001

" was so personal. Stella was at my house sewing the hem - which by the way didn't last - and I felt so beautiful. I had this hairdo - Stella blames the hairdo, not the dress - but I come from a family that has the ability to laugh at itself, & in this situation, Stella showed the same quality. If you can laugh at yourself, not take life too seriously, you can have a good life."

Stella on how vegetarianism influences her as a designer...
"It's important to be true to yourself & not be hypocritical. I would rather eat dead animals than wear them. It's not so much about being a vegetarian, but about how the industry can change, & look at the way it works. Fashion is about being modern, & to me modern is about making change. My job is to create beautiful, desirable, timeless pieces. If I can try & make them from things that don't include death, that's a great thing."

Christine paisley-print silk pants | £430 | Net-a-porter

On her pyjama-inspired silk trousers...
"They really were inspired by pyjamas. At one point we went too close to actual pyjamas & had to adapt them in fits. It was about the softness of the fabric, the paisley print, definitely a man's pyjamas. You've got to take a little risk."

On counterfeit...
"You have tonnes of different emotions - it's annoying you work really hard & someone just copies it. Sometimes, you know you've reached a sweet spot when something is counterfeited, but some things are so big, like the miracle dress, & the spot dress...we send a letter to the culprit saying its just not cool..."

With Jessica Ennis & Phillips Idowu

On the Olympics kit...
"Being British, it goes beyond design, it was a totally different job - it's not about me, it's about the athletes & their needs, but also about the British public."

It's hard not to be inspired be Stella - businesswoman, creator, mother, fiercely principled & first to admit the success of her label is not down to her, but the team that she is part of, & just utterly, effortlessly cool, it was clear every single person in the room was totally captivated. There were cheers and applause when she offered a ballsy 16-year-old work experience, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one with a lump in my throat when a 35-year-old woman stood up during the question-and-answer session and told Stella how much she had inspired her as a young woman. Questions answered, festival over, there was nothing left for Stella to do but give one last piece of advice...

"Stay true to yourself - it doesn't last, trying to be something you're not. Central St Martin's was a super-cool place, but if you're not super-cool, that's allowed. Work hard - you can't fake that."

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