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2002-Sep-25: Sir Paul and Linda's Interest In Art Influences Their Daughter's First Advertising Campaign

The Autumn 2002 issue of Modern Painters magazine features an article about a unique collaboration between painter David Remfry and fashion designer Stella McCartney. David Remfry is an artist of Sir Paul's generation who earned respect as a watercolor painter in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His works are owned by the National Portrait gallery, the British Museum and the British Royal family. It was Sir Paul and Linda's interest in art that brought the artist to Stella's attention when she was a youngster. She recalls:
"My mum and dad subscribed to this really cool little Sixties art magazine called The Image. Peter Blake did the second cover and David did the third. I had loved this cover that was by David. It was really inspirational to me."
So when it came time for Stella to choose an artist for her first advertising campaign, Stella set her sights on finding David Remfry to do the job. She was able to locate him in New York city with the help of her father's long time friend, Peter Blake. Mr. Remfry recalls the phone call from Stella:
"It was very strange. I got a call out of the blue and someone on the other end said: 'It's Stella McCartney.' She'd seen a drawing I'd done in 1972, a nude with Afro hair, leaning back against a wall."
A few weeks later, he found himself in in a five-room suite in London's Grosvenor Hotel sketching the model Tatiana dressed designs from the Stella McCartney collection. Mr. Remfry recalls:
"It was a very intense experience lasting eight or nine days. Tatiana was flawless - like models are really. She came every morning and the hairdresser would spend two-and-a-half hours making her look even more fabulous. I was completely unfamiliar with this aspect of fashion. I'm a painter, for heaven's sake!"
This was a new experience for Stella as well:
"David is a character. He wouldn't let me be in the room. It was one of the most risky ad campaigns I've ever done - to put total trust in somebody I'd only met for five minutes.

"The thing about the project with David is it's not a fashion illustration, it's not fashion advertising. It's so considered, each line. It's not a modern-day graphics illustration, it's an old-school drawing. The guy sat there with a pencil and drew a woman. He's really captured a person. She's kind of young and she's kind of cool and  she's got attitude. She's a modern woman, yet the delicacy of the way he's drawn it is really feminine."

Six months later, David Remfry's striking fashion/art images appear on billboards and glossy fashion magazines. The result is a delightful melange of contemporary art works - Mr. Remfry's classic defiant, aloof, and seductive female subject wearing Stella's saucy, provacative clothes. Stella has captured the respect and admiration of the artist. He says:
 "Stella's a really playful designer. You can see a body really move in her clothes. I doubt that  there's anyone else I'd have done this project for. What I want to do next is a drawing of her."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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