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« Angelina Jolie on Family, Film & Philanthropy | Vicki Woods & Mario Testino | Vogue US Dec 2010 | Main | American Women's View of God and Its Impact on Environmental Action »
Monday
Nov082010

Stella McCartney's Love of Land, Family & Design Sustainability

All Vogue images by Bruce Weber.

Fashion with compassion describes Stella McCartney’s approach to work and more abstractly to her life. A true Smart Sensuality woman, Stella McCartney’s values integrate all living things into her holistic, organic approach to work, play, family, loving, giving.

Having said that, Stella McCartney detests yellow tulips with passion. Upon discovering that her supposedly white tulips were born of son gods, she closed her eyes and exclaimed ‘Paint them white!’

We don’t see much of Stella McCartney’s inner diva in her Vogue US interview with Hamish Bowles. Rather Stella is the fecund earth mother of three and soon another, and country companion and wife to Alasdhair Willis, formerly a publisher and now a furniture and product design consultant.

Willis just resigned his position with British furniture manufacturer Established and Sons to start his own creative coonsultancy with David Beckham as a client.

Any man who gives his wife an Anniversary Garden with a plaque testifying to his adoring love is well … swell.

The Vogue interview is about Stella McCartney and her land. “I grew up in the country, and I like being isolated,” says Stella. “So when I see a building on the horizon, I want to plant a tree in front of it. That’s my natural instinct.”

Wanting to plant about a million trees in their English Eden, the couple married in 2003 and requested trees as wedding presents. Head gardner Anthony Tyler oversees precious treasure groves, including allées of linden trees from Germany, sent by both Valentino and Tom Ford.

Although her husband is “the garden man”, both share a passion for Hidcote, “the iconic Cotswolds garden created by the American-born Major Lawrence Johnston at the beginning of the twentieth century, named for its grand gestures, its long views, and its series of contrasting environments and moods.’

Hidcote is known for spectacular topiaries. which would have plenty of room to roam on the Willis-McCartney property.

Stella McCartney reveals that she was a bit stuck for inspiration on her Spring 2011 collection. Wandering through her house and gardens, McCartney found herself inspired by fifties-botanical print books and garden flowers.

The result is a set of Spring 2011 prints that don’t necessarily embellish Stella’s English garden walks. But they reflect her intense passion for the integration of natural vitality into her often organic fashions, made with compassion and reverence for nature’s bounty.

In this 2009 interview with The Ecologist, Stella McCartney speaks of sustainable manufacturing, her vegetarian principles and engagement with fashion conscience. Stella reminds us that about 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is decided in the design stage.

Designers are at the top of the pyramid in terms of creating products and they should know. It would have less of an impact on the environment if the creative teams were more educated about the impact the products they design have on the world we live in. In the fashion world I think that most designers know fur is wrong. More and more of them also know about the huge environmental impact of [producing] leather, in terms of the use of chemicals for tanning and dyeing. The land mass that is needed just to raise enough leather, enough skin for one handbag is far greater than growing a crop – bamboo, for example – that is sustainable. I think the consumer also has to be aware of these things and has to act responsibly in terms of the things he or she buys, and to start limiting the demand on products that are environmentally unfriendly.

We share some juicy fruits from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2011 collection. And tomorrow, who knows … recipes, perhaps.

More reading:

Stella McCartney’s Sexy, Womanly Collection for Green Cultural Creatives

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