The Three S’s: Sexy, Stella and Saks

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New Stella McCartney “Shop-in-Shop” debuts at luxe Troy department store.

Stella McCartney has more than music running through her blood. The daughter of Sir Paul and the late Linda McCartney also has fashion in her pedigree — her mother’s father, Max Joseph Lindner, owned a famous women’s clothing shop in Cleveland (Max’s wife was Stella’s namesake).

Perhaps it’s her lineage. Or, perhaps it’s a life having always been surrounded by rock-chic and hippy fashionistas, including her mother’s photography subjects during her childhood in London and the English countryside (although it was intentionally not the typical rock-star child’s life) — mostly, Stella McCartney has come about her success as a highly regarded fashion designer the old-fashioned way since making her first jacket at age 13.

Before graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 1995, McCartney had already apprenticed with Christian Lacroix on Savile Row. After only two collections post-grad, she was appointed the creative director of Chloe in Paris, where her first collection of lacy, petticoat skirts teamed with fine tailoring was critically acclaimed. In 2001, she launched her own signature line in a joint venture with Gucci Group (now the PPR Luxury Group).

Since then, the Stella McCartney brand has grown into an online presence, 15 freestanding stores and a number of shop-in-shops. In November, Saks Fifth Avenue at the Somerset Collection in Troy will roll out its red carpet with a 500-square-foot Stella McCartney shop-in-shop, similar to the one launched last May at Saks’ flagship store in Manhattan along with four other locations around the country.

Detroit’s ladies will have up-close-and-personal access to McCartney’s ready-to-wear collection and handbags. The designer’s pieces are edgy, sophisticated yet playful, high-fashion designs in a signature style that pairs sharp tailoring (often in masculine, oversized dimensions), with sexy, confident femininity. Fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Liv Tyler and Kate Moss. But don’t be fooled by her high-style friends: What they often love most is that, though the clothes are strikingly super-chic, they are also supremely wearable. A vegetarian like her mother, McCartney’s lines are also fur- and leather-free.

In another collaboration with her Gucci boss, Tom Ford, McCartney designed her own wedding gown, which was an updated version of her mother’s 1969 wedding gown, for her 2003 marriage to Alasdhair Willis, former publisher of Wallpaper magazine before launching a creative and brand consultancy, Announcement.

Inspired by their own children, now numbering four, McCartney first debuted a kids’ line with Gap in 2009 before introducing Stella McCartney Kids in 2010, a line of whimsical, fashion-forward miniature versions of her ready-to-wear pieces, which are available online.

Stella McCartney Shop-in-Shop at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Somerset Collection. (248) 643-9000; saksfifthavenue.com.

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