IT was a real family affair when Stella McCartney showcased her autumn/winter collection at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) yesterday. ECHO Features Editor Jane Haase had a front row seat ...
“GRANDAD,” shouted the little boy in delight as he ran over to the man in the grey suit with the flowery shirt who leant down and gave him a hug.
He might be one of the most famous men in the world but he was just grandad to the toddler who wanted a cuddle.
The McCartney clan were out in force for a special fashion show by Sir Paul’s designer daughter Stella, held just a few hours before the Beatles legend rocked a 36,000 strong crowd at Anfield.
Stella had chosen to unveil her autumn/winter collection at Lipa as a celebration of the city’s Capital of Culture year.
Her children – son Miller, three; 18-month-old daughter, Bailey, and four- month- old son, Beckett – were at the family event, joined by their excited cousin (lol, aunt), four-year-old Beatrice (Sir Paul’s daughter with ex-wife Heather Mills). When not sitting with her relatives the pretty blonde-haired youngster could be seen bouncing on her father’s lap.
Photographer Mike McCartney (Paul's brother), famed for his intimate portraits of The Beatles, was snapping away inside the auditorium.
On the front row were Sir Paul, with his son James on one side and Yoko Ono on the other. Next to her was George Harrison’s widow Olivia, who was in the city for a special tribute to her late husband at FACT on Friday night, as well as Beatles producer Sir George Martin.
They were being watched more than the models on stage by some members of the audience who had paid between £100 to £500 for a ticket for the event, with all proceeds going to LIPA. One keen female fan in the balcony even had her opera glasses out and trained on the A-listers.
Badges saying “Stella” with a shape of a heart and the words “L’Pool” below were given out at the entrance to guests who included Sir Peter Blake, who designed the iconic Sgt Pepper album cover, and number one WAG Coleen McLoughlin.The same message was spelled out in silver balloons suspended from the ceiling above the stage.
Liverpool singer Candie Payne, looking stunning in a thigh- skimming black mini dress, opened the afternoon show. The singer from West Derby obviously impressed Sir Paul who was spotted taking a picture of her on his mobile phone as she performed.
The fact this was no ordinary fashion showcase was evident when the models took to the catwalk. Instead of strutting their stuff these statuesque visions in dresses of varying hues of blue, grey, black and taupe played musical chairs while tottering about in what looked like 7ins platform wedges.
Amid laughter from the 380 seater auditorium, they entered into the spirit of fun as they battled it out to the thumping beat of That’s Not Your name by the Ting Tings.
As balloons descended onto the stage (with “Uncle Mike” retrieving a heart-shaped one for Beatrice) Stella appeared with a present for the winning model and thanked everyone for coming.
She joked: “I seem to have 50,000 members of my family still in this city.”
And proud dad Sir Paul, wearing his trademark suit and trainers and a Stella badge, shouted out: “Three cheers for Stella.”
Before heading off to her father’s Liverpool Sound concert with the rest of the family, Stella explained why it was important to showcase her new fashion range at LIPA, which was co-founded by Sir Paul in 1996 in the grounds of his old school, The Liverpool Institute.
She said: “It’s been a great day, especially with the concert tonight.
“I wanted to do something for LIPA because it’s my dad’s old school and I’m very proud of what he’s done here and the way he’s made the school survive.
“This show was a lot of fun and it’s great to hold it in the Capital Culture year and do my bit for the city.”
Describing her collection as “naturally sexy, naturally confidant and modern”, she added: “I don’t design for one particular woman, but I try to pick up what I think is happening around me and on the streets.
“I don’t get a chance to spend much time in Liverpool but I think Liverpool can compete with other cities.”
And what does the acclaimed fashion designer, who counts Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow as pals as well as clients, think of Liverpool girls’ style?
“I think they are great but I would say that because I’ve got a bit of Liverpool in me,” she laughed.
The Scouse gliterrati were out in force yesterday. Former Emmerdale star Sheree Murphy, wife of footballer Harry Kewell, was there along with friends, Cricket owner and ECHO columnist Justine Mills and celebrity stylist Lorraine McCullough.
Coronation Street star Alison King, who plays Carla Connor, was among the guests as was Radio City presenter Pete Price.
Dance group Flava, who were semi finalists in the TV show Britain’s Got Talent, also performed at the event.
Stella had said she had wanted to do her bit for the city in Capital of Culture year. I think the McCartney clan certainly did that yesterday.