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Last week I introduced you to one of my favorite shoe designers, Stuart Weitzman. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I liked writing it! This week, I’d love you to meet one of my fave clothing designers, Stella McCartney.
Yes, Dame McCartney is the daughter of Sir Paul. (He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, she was made a dame in the Order of the British Empire) However , her artistry lies in designing instead of music, thank God!!
Dame Stella is 48 years old and, despite having an American mother, has always identified as English. She is the second of four children and has four children herself.
At 16, Dame Stella ( do you mind if I call her plain Stella? Writing Dame Stella all the time is correct, but a pain in the patootie. Thanks.) interned for Christian Lacroix in Paris before going to design school. For her graduation runway show, her collection was modeled by a few friends-Naomi Campbell, Yasmin le Bon and Kate Moss ( three of the supermodels that defined the ‘90s. ) The music was written by Pops, naturally. In 2001, Stella opened her own store under her own name (partnered with the Kering Group).
Ms. McCartney now has 18 stores worldwide, including the one here in Vegas, in Crystals. Many of them sell her other lines, such as her perfume, lingerie, skincare and a kids’ line that is WAY adorable! Recently, she developed a men’s line.
Just last year, McCartney bought back the majority shares of her company, so she’s her own woman now! She celebrated by fashioning Megan Markle’s wedding gown. She also designed the uniforms for Great Britain’s Olympic team and has a charitable foundation which supports breast cancer research. She’s pretty darned impressive, isn’t she? She has always been a vehement voice for animal rights, and her lines are all vegan-no leather or fur, of course.
Ok, that’s background-now can we talk about Stella McCartney’s clothes and accessories? I’ve been a fan for years. Her line runs the gamut from jeans to red carpet, and her handbags are iconic. I’m particularly crazy about the Falabellas. This group is unstructured, made from fabrics like faux leather and suede, and bound with signature silver or gold chains. They come in several sizes from clutches to tote bags, and a wide range of colors from classic to of-the-moment. Recently I spent time drooling over a blush colored fallabella, which was ON SALE from $895 to $390! I didn’t buy it , though-how restrained am I??
The ready-to-wear women’s clothes are usually quite simple but made of luxurious organic fabrics. I love the sweatshirts and hoodies-they’re so cuddly! I also like her jeans and slacks.
The colors are English (muted and usually darker than we’re accustomed to wearing) and in each collection there is an homage to Sir Paul or the Beatles-for example, the Yellow Submarine line and graphic Ts with renderings of George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The price points sound high to anyone not accustomed to designer prices, but are actually lower than other fashion houses, such as the Ink Anna slacks for $565. T shirts are about $325, which is high but not as high as others, like Armani where a T shirt can be $600. See....a bargain! (LOL)
Stella McCartney’s clothes are beautifully sewn by hand and classic, so that any piece will last years and be stylish whenever you pull it out. Expensive? Yes. Classic? Absolutely! A major indulgence but when you fall in love with a piece, it’s worth it for the joy it brings. And always remember....”Trend” is today but “style” is forever!
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As your friendly, neighborhood personal stylist I can tell you there is a big difference between dressing “young” and dressing “youthfully”. Many of Style Savvy’s clients look and act much younger than their years, and want to dress that way. And I’m all for it, provided it’s done right. And how do you know if you’re doing it right? Let me give you some tips.......
Start with color. There’s no such thing as an “old” color. You may find that age changes your complexion ( along with your hair color!) and that you need to alter the SHADES you wear but the colors don’t change. Basic uniform? If you’ve always been a pants person, stay that way. If you’ve always preferred dresses, stick with ‘em.
However! As we age and various parts fly south, pants and jeans should drape, not cling. Skirts may need to be a little longer, because thighs age faster than calves. We also have the sleeveless question. To go sleeveless or cover up? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. We all know the woman who wears a tank top despite having triceps that swing gracefully to her waist. When you are no longer proud of your upper arms, indulge in camouflage chic!
It should go without saying that certain pieces, like midriff tops and short shorts, are no longer appropriate beyond a certain age. But there are so many beautiful, classic styles to wear! Emphasize great shoulders or a beautiful back. Highlight shapely calves or a firm bustline. Just for your own sake, as well as that of your audience, FORGET THE SPANDEX!!! Those are trends for the young. And we all know that “trend” is today, but “style” is forever!
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