Today's edition of London's Evening Standard contains Emma Forrest's interview with Stella McCartney. Ms. Forrest met Stella in the lobby of the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. Stella was suffering from a serious bout of jet lag having just flown in Paris after attending a glitzy party in her honor. Curled up on a sofa and dressed in a fabulous black trench coat and trousers Stella reminded Ms. Forrest of a small animal peering out of a pouch.
Does Stella yearn for her pre-Chloe days when she was not so carefully scrutinized by the media?"I do. [sigh] It happened so quickly. I was 25 when I made that deal. I've committed to this career, and the attention and the work is much more than I thought it would be. But I've got to do it now."Her April, 2001 debut show under her own label received scathing reviews:"They did knock me back. I'd never had really bad reviews like that."Now she manages to keep her private life separate from her work:
[Were they right?]
"Not at all. I liked that collection. But I don't think I presented it well. It was the morning of the troops going into Afghanistan and my show was at 9.30 a.m. in a dark room, with full-on garage music and models coming out with attitude. If I'd had a light venue and different music, I guarantee I wouldn't have had those reviews.""I treat it very much as a job. There are only a couple of people in the business I've known long enough to relax with."Has she seen Kate Moss's baby?"I have. [smiles] "I guess that makes her a friend. I saw her the day after she was born: 6lbs, very pink."How much has her mother, Linda, influenced her work?"She was a cool chick. Certain people could pick up on how cool she was ... but it's nice. I love talking about my mum. I'm very proud of her and go out of my way to keep her thing alive. She was the biggest influence on my siblings and our lives. She was a vegetarian and a female photographer; and she had to put up with a lot of press criticism. The worst bit is, I used to sit up and worry about my parents dying. But they do. And we'll die one day. And maybe it's all right."When asked if she is religious, Stella reveals that she is Jewish:"My mum was Jewish. My whole American family came from Russia and met in the queue coming over. Maybe I'm a really bad Jew because I don't live and breathe the religion. I hardly know anything about it."How does the fur issue effect her friendship with Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow?
[Could Madonna help?] "She's a new Jew!" [laughs] But I have been to a Kabbalah a Jewish mystical movement popular with celebs meeting with her. I don't completely understand it and she'll kill me if she reads that, useless girl that I am. But it's one of the better religions. Oh God, I should shut up: all the followers will start chucking things at me.""I give them a hard time." They don't seem to be listening. "Well, when I've seen Gwyneth with fur it's been a little trim on her coat and I'm always like, 'What the f*** are you doing with that?' The last time, she guaranteed she wasn't going to wear it again, but they're all a bit fickle, aren't they?Soon Stella will be designing her own wedding dress:
"I've been working on Madonna for a very long time; her thing is she won't wear anything she doesn't eat. But the other day she was wearing a coat made from baby lambs that haven't even been born." Stella shudders. "It's like wet curls. So I said, 'I didn't know you ate fetuses,' and she was like, 'Eeew!' I haven't seen her in it since.""Is that bad luck? I have thought about it. I'll probably change the design every three seconds. But I just can't think of anyone else I'd like to do it." [laughs]A longer version of this interview appears in this month's British edition of Glamour magazine, released today.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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