Stella McCartney for Chloé miniature satin evening dress, photographed by Perry Ogden, 1998.
An embroidered, miniature evening dress of satin bears the richesse associated with traditional French fashion, but the proportions belong to the modern age. Chloé showed the first collection by Stella McCartney, appointed designer in 1997 at only twenty-five, in the opulent setting of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. Even though Yves Saint Laurent beat her by a few years (he was just twenty-one when he took over at Christian Dior), McCartney’s appointment was seen as a precocious one. She worked briefly for Lacroix and was influenced by finds made in Portobello Market, close to her West London flat. On Friday and Saturday mornings McCartney would garner antique buttons and vintage clothes, a passion which explains the romantic strand of her style. The other, tailoring, is attributable to a short, unofficial apprenticeship with Edward Sexton, a Savile Row tailor. McCartney has said, ‘Anyone who has seen my work knows I am not about shock tactics.’
—Phaidon Editors, 1998