Known for making gorgeous clothes that real women actually want to wear, Stella McCartney is one of fashion’s most influential designers and environmental activists. After interning at Christian Lacroix and attending prestigious design school Central Saint Martins, she took the helm at Parisian house Chloé in 1997, before founding her own label in 2001. She’s never looked back, and 14 years and dozens of A-list parties later, she can count everyone from Rihanna to Gwyneth Paltrow as both fans and friends.
Here, we chart her best fashion week moments…
1995: The Graduate Show
Stella McCartney’s Central Saint Martins graduate show was just like any other student production. She got her mates to model the collection (except those besties were Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell) and her parents sat front row (which really means Linda and Paul McCartney).
2012: The Magic Act
Despite being a London-based company, Stella always shows her collections on the Paris Fashion Week schedule. In 2012, however, she made an exception, hosting dinner during London Fashion Week for stars including Rihanna and Kate Moss, where magician Hans Klok levitated Alexa Chung before the fash pack’s very eyes.
1997: The Chloé Debut
When relative newcomer Stella was appointed creative director at iconic French fashion house Chloé, after just two years in the business, her status amongst the world’s mega-designers was secured. Just two years after graduating from Central Saint Martins, her predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld, suggested that ‘Chloé should have taken a big name’, but Stella and her then-assistant Phoebe Philo proved the Kaiser to be oh so wrong.
1999: The Amber Valetta Moment
Does it get any more 90s than this?! Amber Valetta modelled Stella’s finale look at the Chloe show in 1999, a sheer metallic cowl top with white linen flares. Talk about a fashion flashback…
2014: The Sooo Cara Moment
Was it planned? Or did Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls just fancy letting loose? Either way, their antics in Stella’s AW14 show finale caught headlines around the world and put Stella’s springy platform brogues on every editor’s must-have list.
2015: Stella’s Resort
Pre-collections have become as important to Stella’s label as the main lines themselves. From her Manhattan croquet party, to a circus-themed soiree, she always draws a huge crowd of celebrity friends to her events, believing that it’s as much about the experience as it is the clothes themselves.
2014: The Most Epic Girl Squad
Stella’s won over the whole of Hollywood with her simple yet stunning approach to cutting red carpet gowns and has made a lot of new A-list friends in the process. At the MET gala in 2014, she arrived on the red carpet flanked by Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Kate Bosworth and Reese Witherspoon, all draped in her creations. Now that’s what we call #SquadGoals.
AW16: An all-woman uniform
Known for her boyish cuts and oversized silhouettes, Stella took a girlie turn with this hot-pink dress for autumn/winter 2016. Coming to a red carpet near you very soon.
SS17: More joyous moment
Stella injected a sense of joy into her SS17 show: instead of walking for the finale, the models danced down the runway. Unlike Cara’s seemingly impromptu antics in 2014, this one was perfectly choreographed.
By Caroline Leaper & Gillian Brett