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Wings Over America
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2002-Sep-20: Stella Opens Her Shop With A Party in New York City

Wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots, three hundred of Stella McCartney's friends were in New York City to celebrate the opening of her very first store. The first to arrive was Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a T-shirt from Stella's store ad campaign. Gwyneth told reporters:  "Stella's clothes are very unique. She has an amazing sense of style."

Stella arrived after Gwyneth. She was wearing a double-breasted black coat she casually described saying,"It's a cotton twill trenchy thing."

Other friends who joined the celebration were Liv Tyler, Toni Braxton, Marianne Faithfull, Mya, Iman, Lou Reed, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgewick, Alicia Silverstone, Cyndi Lauper and Lorne Michaels.

Stella says she opened her store in the meatpacking district of New York city because she feels the neighborhood "has a strong New York identity. I very much feel at home in New York and in America. I feel incredibly proud to have my first shop here, just because of my mum really. She would have loved it."

Earlier in the day, Stella gave several reporters private tours of her new boutique which up until two days ago, Stella describes as looking "like a bomb zone" .The store is described as as "abstract landscape as an antidote to the urban condition" an amusing place where the mannequins appear to be strolling on the surface of a long, black infinity pool of water. Stella designed the shop with the help of the British architectural firem Universal Design Studio. It reflects Stella's unique style - filled with hand-painted textiles, sculptured walls and secret hideaway dressing rooms of which she is particulary proud.   One paneled cubicle was hand-built in Wales.  The marquetry is covered with tropical flowers and hummingbirds.  The walls of another dressing room is decorated with hand-printed fabric covered with beads, fake gemstones and antique Valentines.  Stella designed her boutique to welcome not just the wealthy, but all shoppers, although she admits that in her boutique $100 "won't get you much." Stella says:

"I don't want people to come in and just think garments, garments, garments, buy, buy, buy.  This should be a place where you go in with your girlfriend and relax, or go in with your husband and fool around.

 "People ask, 'Are you excited?' I'm terrified!"

Stella is pleased that her business partner is a member of a famous family as well.  James Seuss is the great-grandson of Theodore Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss)  the celebrated children's book author whose characters included the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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