Leigh Francis Stella McCartney


FAMILY AFFAIR: Stella McCartney hosted her annual Christmas party in true British style — with mince pies and a hefty dose of British humor.

As per tradition, the designer asked guests at her Bruton Street store in Mayfair — including Bianca Jagger, Stormzy, Neelam Gill and Winnie Harlow — to join her for a surprise comedic performance and the switching on of the Christmas lights on Wednesday.

This year, British comedian Leigh Francis did the honors. Portraying Keith Lemon — his famously inappropriate, outrageous alter ego — he performed a comedic sketch that had everyone giggling and blushing at the same time, before pressing the big gold glittery button that lit up the building’s facade.

Bianca Jagger Stella McCartney store Christmas lights switching on ceremony, London, UK - 06 Dec 2017

Bianca Jagger</p> <p>  Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock

“Keith is joining the family of our Christmas light performers, and I told him we don’t just choose any old riff-raff to do that. Plus we’re both ginger,” said the designer referring to her red-haired friend.

It’s been a big week for McCartney: On Monday night, she received the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the Fashion Awards in London. “It felt there was a reason and a strong energy behind the awards this year. A number of people who were awarded are really striving for change, and I think I am one of them. We are trying hard to be really visible with sustainability and to innovate,” she added.

McCartney has been a longtime champion of ethical manufacturing and animal rights, looking to increase the visibility of her supply chain and find new textile production methods to reduce waste. Female empowerment is another cause she champions and she said she has a positive outlook for the coming year: “It was a hard time, but it’s exciting that women are becoming less ashamed and more vocal about certain issues. It’s a positive time for women, and also men, because it’s not only women this happens to. But especially women, we have historically had a rough ride.”

Stella McCartney, Stormzy and Winnie Harlow

Stella McCartney, Stormzy and Winnie Harlow.  Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock

The future is also looking bright for her label, with a new store opening on Old Bond Street in the works for next year. “This could be the last time we are switching on the lights here. We are very sentimental about this location, but we’ll be staying in the same area and we are working really hard on the design of the new store.”

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