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Sister Act: Stella And Mary McCartney

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A whirlwind year for Stella McCartney—which included the debut of a kid’s line, a jewelry range, and her appointment as creative director by Adidas for Great Britain’s kit for the London 2012 Olympics, and, reportedly, the birth of her fourth child over the holiday weekend—draws to a close with the launch of a new, redesigned StellaMcCartney.com. In addition to broadening the reach of her e-commerce (which will now be available in the U.K. as well as the U.S., and in eight European countries by spring 2011), the site features a new section devoted to “Stella’s World,” with picks from the designer, video and photos from behind the scenes at her shows and campaign shoots, a teaser for her forthcoming iPad app (directed by Alasdair McLellan and scored by Brian Eno, naturally), and a space for her to promote worthy projects that catch her eye.

Chief among them at present is a new monograph and exhibition series, From Where I Stand, by her sister, photographer Mary McCartney. (Portraits from the book, with sitters like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, and Kate Hudson, range from the early nineties through the present; they’re on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London until April, and at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York until the middle of January.) The sisters have collaborated before, on ad campaigns (with Kate Moss and Angela Lindvall) as well as numerous portrait sittings and a few editorials. “I love working with her, because as sisters we have a genuine closeness, but also a healthy competitive element, too,” Mary told Style.com. But the informal, intimate style in which she shoots has more to do with her mother, the late photographer Linda McCartney. “I like to observe with the camera, to try to let character come out. That has a softness to it, however sharp the image,” she says. “I guess the approach came in a large part from my mother. Her sitters seemed so comfortable, it shows in their characterization—it comes through much more when the defenses are down. The formality of camera and photographer in front of the subject interests me less than waiting and working for a moment that they let the camera in.”

Photo: Mary McCartney

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Dept. of Culture