Style icon: Linda McCartney

Happy birthday, Linda! Your free-spirited way of dressing feels timeless and modern yet today. So only right we should do a tribute on September 24th – which would have been your 81st birthday had you been alive.

She was the woman who stole the heart of everybody’s favorite Beatle, but Linda McCartney was so much more than just Paul McCartney’s wife:  an awesome photographer, animal rights campaigner and visionary style icon. She began her career as a photographer in the mid-sixties. By the late sixties she had become a regular fixture at a New York concert venue – the Fillmore East where she became the unofficial house photographer, photographing legendary musicians. She was the first woman to have a photograph on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine – it was of Eric Clapton – and her works have later been featured in numerous books and galleries.  A vocal animal rights activist Linda wrote and published several vegetarian cookbooks as well as playing alongside her husband in the band Wings.

There is a Nordic simplicity about Linda’s approach to style, and therefore she appeals so much to us. Looking at old photos she has none of the it-girly glam of other Beatle girlfriends like Pattie Boyd and Jane Asher and appears to have more in common with Scandinavian beauties like models Iselin Steiro and Freja Beha Erichsen and a young Liv Ullman.

The key to Linda’s looks was picking traditional knits and classic pieces like an ultra-chic trench coat and feminine dresses – and mixing them with flats, bare feet or a pair of chunky moon boots. The result: a whimsical style that looks less calculated and elaborated and more casually thrown together by a busy young mum – which, of course she was at the time. It’s made her an unlikely fashion icon who appears timeless and contemporary to the 21s century’s fashion sensibilities.

In 2014 British Vogue and Stella McCartney presented a tribute spread styled by Jane How and shot by Glen Luchford inspired by Linda’s own photos featured in her book “Linda McCartney. The Polaroid Diaries” – featuring pieces from the photographer’s wardrobe.  This is the little video (above) was published with it. Both Paul and Stella apparently cried watching it, with Stella saying it was like watching her mother come alive again from photos taken in her youth.

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