Stella McCartney, a veteran of the British fashion industry, has been as pro-active in 2014 as any year so far. Hosting fashion launch events, débuting her Autumn / Winter 2014 collection earlier this year, and, in the last few weeks, announcing her charitable collaboration with War Child UK in an effort to give vulnerable children living in conflict zones an artistic voice with which they can express themselves.
Stella is the daughter of British musician and The Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney and American photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney. At only 42 years old, she has already cemented her reputation as one of Britain’s most prominent fashion designers, and has the OBE to prove it.
McCartney has famously collaborated with big brands such as Adidas, H&M, and Disney in recent years, but is perhaps most well-remembered for her role as Team GB’s Creative Director for the London Olympic Games in 2012. It was considered an honour of the highest degree for a British fashion designer to be appointed chief designer and representative of the country’s team at the world’s largest sports event.
First for 2014 came Stella McCartney’s Autumn / Winter 2014 collection, which débuted at the Palais Garnier in Paris, of which she said ‘we wanted to give our customer the the ease and energy and movement we feel she wants from us’. The part-androgynous, part-ultra-feminine collection comprised short lengths, thick fabrics, 3D embroidered detail, and masculine flatform Oxfords. The somewhat equestrian style was updated with its decadent urban-inspired monochrome and jewel-toned colour palette.
Stella went on to host her own Garden Party earlier this month, which saw the likes of British it-model Cara Delevingne, actresses Liv Tyler and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and cult icon Lucy Liu in attendance. The Garden Party was in celebration of her Spring 2015 Presentation, which was held in New York.
It is, however, Stella’s charity work that makes her a true stand-apart British fashion designer. She has been linked to charities and campaigns by Comic Relief, NSPCC, PETA, Naked Heart Foundation, and Kering Foundation, and, at the beginning of June, announced her intention to collaborate with War Child UK.
Stella’s collaboration announcement comes in conjunction with the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict, hosted in London by actress and UN ambassador Angelina Jolie and First Secretary of State William Hague. The initiative will be called ‘Draw Me To Safety’ and will take the form of an international art project designed to give vulnerable children in war-stricken zones the opportunity to express themselves visually. Children aged between eight and 15 will draw pictures based on the notion of safety, and Stella McCartney will create a garment or accessory inspired by the finished pieces, the proceeds of which will go directly to the War Child UK charity.
Angelina Jolie voiced her personal support for the project, explaining that ‘these are moving examples of how children who have lost so much see the world. I hope that this campaign will bring their world closer to us all, and that many people will feel inspired to help protect vulnerable children living in conflict zones.’