...and four other things that went down at Stella McCartney’s Amoeba Records LA takeover
Stella McCartney can throw down! That’s what her friends say anyway. Of course, her “squad” is made up of Marilyn Manson, Alison Mosshart, and Johnny Depp. McCartney’s partying prowess was on full display at the debut of her Autumn collection (the brand’s version of pre-Fall) at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles on Tuesday. On the wintery night, celebrity party-buddies filed down the red carpet one-by-one, touting McCartney’s ability to drink them under the table. “I guess that’s just how they do it over there,” said Selma Blair, cold and shivering in one of the label’s designs. Inside, it was so much less about the clothes (what clothes?) than about the spectacle of doing a presentation in Los Angeles. Here’s what went down:
The legendary record store – the biggest in the country – adorned their walls with Stella “concert posters” and giant neon signs above a stage where bands played all night. In the middle of the CD bins, where normally you would shop for a used copy of Marshall Crenshaw’s 1982 debut album on vinyl, models wearing the collection swayed to the music and played arcade video games for some reason.
The list of A-listers was cartoonishly long. After P!nk took the stage for a countrified set, Leonardo DiCaprio (Leo!) snuck into the crowd hiding his face under his trademark Ivy cap as Brian Wilson (Brian!) muttered through a half-dozen Beach Boys classics (“Surfin’ USA” “Barbara Ann”). Orlando Bloom whispered into his ear during “Help Me Rhonda”. Mary J. Blige was there. Jamie Hince from The Kills, Amandla Stenberg, Rodney Bingenheimer, Miranda July, Lily-Rose Depp, Carrie Brownstein, Kiernan Shipka, Kim Gordon, Quincy Jones...even Ringo Starr showed up. Then Marilyn Manson took the stage for an impassioned set with Johnny Depp playing guitar. They played Manson’s biggest hits: “The Dope Show”, “Sweet Dreams”, “The Beautiful People”. Manson’s voice broke when bringing up David Bowie’s recent passing. “It’s something I can’t even talk about,” he said, his voice warbling. Let’s rewind: P!nk, then Brian Wilson, then Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp. I haven’t checked the Coachella line-up lately, but I’m pretty sure this kicks its ass.
True to the laid-back environment, the clothes were a mix of 70s cheerleader chic and almost-kitsch embroidered cat prints, combined with feminine silhouettes and bell bottoms. That said, no one was paying much attention – though I spoke to a few Angelenos who appreciated McCartney's vegan aesthetic. Referencing the DIY style of the young women populating Sunset Boulevard during the height of Rock 'n' Roll (and who probably whiled away hours browsing at Amoeba), McCartney played with layering – adding tulle dresses over high-waisted trousers and grandpa knits under leopard print coats.
Fashion rarely happens in Los Angeles...or so we thought. This week, Saint Laurent announced that it will be staging its AW16 men's show not in Paris, but in LA – described as a “tribute to the strong music scene in Los Angeles”, the show will be taking over the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Boulevard. It seems the natural next step for Hedi Slimane – who lives in LA. alongside other American mainstays like Bernhard Willhelm, Rodarte, and Jeremy Scott – and for whom California has been calling ever since his rebel-charged reboot of the brand in 2013. Tom Ford did his AW15 women’s collection runway show during Oscar week last year. What's more, Spring/Summer collections are pretty much always shot in LA.
Maybe Stella and co. are onto something: when in LA, don’t focus on the clothes. Give the La La Land audience something to distract themselves and play to the city’s rock credentials with a mini-music festival – one that packs the room to the gills with Hollywood Hills stars.