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At Stella McCartney’s autumn 2016 presentation, the looks on display may not have been throwbacks, but the surprise musical performances certainly were as the designer took over independent music institution Amoeba Music. “It’s great fun, isn’t it?” McCartney wondered aloud, as droves of celebrity fans like Ringo Starr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Maya Rudolph, Mary J. Blige, and Kate Upton waltzed down the black carpet and into the store in anticipation of the designer’s first Los Angeles show. “I’m really excited to be at Amoeba. It’s somewhere we’ve wanted to show for a really long time, and we finally got them to say yes. I think my dad is the only person that’s closed down the store, weirdly enough. So I’m following [his lead].”
Earlier that day, McCartney posted an Instagram photo in honor of the late David Bowie. “He contributed a complete 360 of information, and he fed us all,” she told Yahoo Style while declining to share her favorite memory of the singer. “I have great stories, but I’m choosing to keep them inside my vessel today. I don’t feel right talking about my personal experiences with him. I just feel extremely honored to have met him.”
Although McCartney stopped short of saying the night was a tribute to Bowie, the singer’s spirit was certainly felt. Fans signed posters hung up in his honor. Stella’s note simply read: “R.I.P. MY HERO. XX STELLA.”
Meanwhile, Selma Blair divulged that David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs was among her first vinyls. “I went to almost every concert of his that ever came to Detroit,” she said. “I met him at the CFDAs years ago. He was the one person in my life that I was like, My mind is blown. David Bowie has his arms around me. Of course, I wasn’t friends with him, but I think he had the ability to make everyone feel like they were important and that he wasn’t as important as he was. Almost every day I really am like, Oh my gawd. I was in David Bowie’s arms for a minute. It was a moment.”
With that, Blair looked to her left, glanced at Kiernan Shipka, and laughed, “I’m a little older than the average person on this carpet.” Even so, Shipka insisted she wasn’t too young to understand Bowie’s influence. “‘Heroes’ is one of my favorite songs ever,” she said. “He was a legend. He was an icon. He was fearless.” As for new tunes, the actress said she’s “loving a bunch of stuff. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lake Street Dive. It’s a band I’m really into. My friend’s dad played them in the car, and I was really into them. True story.”
For Chelsea Handler, the evening wasn’t about music. “Who’s performing?” she asked. “I don’t even know what this is! What is this?! I thought it was a fashion show!” Handler insisted that clothing wasn’t the big draw either. “I don’t care about Stella’s designs at all. She’s my friend, and that’s why I’m here.” When asked how they first met, Handler shared, “She sent me a dirty email saying I was a slag or a slut or something, and I said, ‘You’re a bigger slut than I will ever be,’ and that’s how our relationship started. I think we must have met at a party like after the Met Ball or something. She drinks like I do, so it’s fun. I don’t think she cares [what she’s drinking]. As long as there’s no meat product, she’ll drink anything.” With Handler’s new Netflix show debuting later this month, the comedian said viewers can expect “stuff that’s thoughtful. I want to, like, educate people while I’m being educated. It’s basically like Netflix is paying me to go to college.”
Meanwhile, Sarah Silverman divulged that she and Michael Sheen are big fans of The Bachelor — though she isn’t too keen on this season’s pick, Ben. “He’s boring as f**k,” she said. “The fact that he kept Lace? That is obviously the producers. It’s not awesome that she looks exactly like a combination of me and Cecily Strong, but I accept it.”
Among the racks of CDs inside, guests were greeted by an assortment of platform shoes, funky animal-print purses, and models wearing McCartney’s latest collection, which featured day-into-night-dresses, recycled mohair and wool knitwear, intricate brocade corsetry, delicate blouses, and loose trousers. “This collection was really about looking at the full wardrobe,” said McCartney. “How we can take the classics and twist them and elevate them?” The designs included leopard and tiger prints, cheeky cat motifs, graphic circles, and diagonal stripes in a color palette of cream, pearl, fawn, granite, black, and indigo with bursts of jazzberry, mandarin, and calendula.
The clothing was lovely, but eventually all eyes were eagerly on the stage as guests guessed who might perform. Soon enough their questions were answered. Opening acts included Dhani Harrison and, from New Orleans, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band followed by You+Me, a new group composed of Pink and Dallas Green. Next, the legendary Brian Wilson played an eight-song set that included hits “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations” — all while McCartney snapped pics on her phone.
Orlando Bloom, Amber Valletta, Beck, and Dave Grohl were among the last ones still standing, just before midnight, as a fedora-wearing Marilyn Manson hit the stage. The rocker performed hits like “Beautiful People” and “The Dope Show” while Johnny Depp played guitar and sang backup.
“Is this the Oscars?” Rachel Zoe had asked earlier in the night as she surveyed the star-studded room. In the end, it was more like the Grammys.