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2005-Mar-13: "Daddy's Little Girl"

In Sydney Australia today, their Sunday Magazine featured an interview conducted by Sabine Durrant with Stella McCartney entitled "Daddy's Little Girl". The interview took place on a Friday afternoon in a Notting Hill café before the birth of Stella's baby. Dressed in a purple cat and cowboy boots, Stella explains her maternity attire:

"I'm in total denial about buying stuff for being pregnant. I really do seem to have an issue with it. I go for anything big enough, anything that will fit me. This is, like, two seasons old."

When she's not pregnant, what does Stella wear?

"I go for the things that probably everyone goes for. I don't go for what people think when they see me. I go for comfort and ease and ... hmm, Sexy. Yeah..."

Does she still shop at the British budget fashion chain, Topshop?

"No. I haven't done for a really long time. I don't really go shopping any more. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I don't like getting recognized to be totally honest. I feel like people would be going, 'That's Stella McCartney. What the hell's she doing in Topshop?' Do you know what I mean?"

Does Stella watch fashion commentators Trinny and Susannah on television?

"Never. They weren't very nice about me once, so obviously I haven't warmed to them .... Oh, maybe they're nice about me now (Stella smiles slyly) in which case I love [the show]. It's my favorite program."

In the interview we learn such things as why she named her line of perfume Stella:

"It's the name that my mum and dad gave to me, so it's very special."

Referring to how nice one feels wrapped one of her $2500 silk bomber jackets, Stella agrees that her clothes feel as good as they look:

"I think it's the amount of padding we put in it and the kind of padding. It was to get that feeling of being wrapped in something and really cozy and protected, but then keep some kind of femininity ... I've always done that. I've always felt that was important. In my graduation show, I did all these slip dresses with the satin on the inside and the crepe side out, and it was really for me ... There's something even more sexual, certainly just as sexy, to a garment if you, as the wearer, have your secrets, and you the wearer are having an experience of your own. I think it lends itself to how you carry yourself and your attitude. Obviously I've always loved antiques and vintage things. I went through a real spell of wearing vintage stockings, finding brand-new packets of them in flea markets, and I've always loved that thing about stockings - only you know that you've got stockings on. The guy doesn't know - unless he gets lucky - and it's just so sexy. There's something really important in that. I think fashion is about the psychological, you know, responses to things, and that's part of the job."

Stella says she has reached a point in her life...

"when I know it's important to be true to myself. I think probably part of my upbringing has made me so that I can't function on things that are purely financially based. For me, you know, I really have to have some belief behind it. I base all of my decisions on whether it's going to be an interesting project and whether it's going to have validity and when I can talk about it and not actually talk a load of crap."

This is why Stella chose to design for the "high-performance" side of Adidas sportswear:

"I think they're surprised by how hands-on I've been - I'm very verbal. They learnt about bringing detail back to sportswear. I question every single thing ... Women are not educated in what they have to wear technically to enhance what exercise they're doing. Sneakers are always crap, they're baby pink or baby blue, they're like My Little Pony. They're offensive. I don't see the reason for that. I'm like, 'Why? Give me a reason for that?' Why is it that I always want the guys' sneaker but they don't do my size? Why is it when they do the guys' sneaker for women, they bring it out in a nasty color? Like, why is that? Who is designing this stuff? I could talk about it until the cows come home."

During the interview, Stella spoke about her mother, Linda:

"She would have loved some of the things I've done recently. She would have loved all my vegie shoes, and she would have dug the Adidas thing. She'd have loved the perfume. It's a bummer. At the weekend I really wanted to call her, talk crap down the phone. I didn't have anything to say, just sort of babble. She was the classiest woman. And class? You can't buy class, you know? She wasn't like Jackie O - you don't think of her like that - but just the way she handled herself and the decisions she made, and the way she interacted with people was so fluid and natural and classy. It wasn't about her. It was always about everyone else."

Ms. Durrant told Stella about how sweet Linda had been to one of her colleagues when he went to interview Sir Paul. Stella smiled and said:

"I would expect nothing less from my mother. People always have stories like that. I met your parents once; your dad was in a bad mood and your mum came in and said, 'Do you want a cup of tea?' It's really reaffirming to hear that."

How will motherhood change her life?

"I don't really know. I'm sort of playing it by ear. I don't really know what one does, so I'm kinda like ... I don't really wanna know? I think people will come to me, to my house, probably. (For now I am ) being, like, this perfect role-model pregnant woman. I don't go out. I'm not drinking."

Stella spends the week in London, and the weekend at her country home in Worcestershire where she is having a garden planted:

"Not cheap are they, gardens? Bloody hell. But part of the beauty of it is watching it grow. It's going to sound really naff on paper, that."

In London, Stella walks or cycles with her border collie dog, Red, in Hyde Park. On the weekends, she used to ride her horse, Flo Jo, but Stella has promised her husband that she won't ride until the baby is born:

"My mum rode every single day, all of her life, but we're not as free as they were back then. She was being a bit of a hippie living in Scotland when she had me. And if anything happened, I'd feel terrible. I'm not only responsible for myself and the baby, I've got Alasdhair to think about. But I'll be back on my horse the moment I've squeezed it out. I can't wait."

Stella says that she has some "really amazing friends". None of them are school chums:

"My school thing was wrapped around that learning experience of being a kid of someone. I was very wary and protective, jumpy, not very settled about it."

Stella remains close to her sisters Heather and Mary, and her brother, James, and is "madly in love" with her nephews:

"I'd not be so immodest as to say I'm the best auntie in the world."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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