The Aesthete: Mary McCartney talks more personal taste

The photographer concludes her list of likes with shopping for vintage clothes, her sister Stella’s natural style and the work of Sally Mann

Mary McCartney at home in London
Mary McCartney at home in London | Image: Gabby Laurent

My style icon is my sister Stella. She has always had her own natural style that comes through in all her designs. I have to limit myself as I run out of wardrobe space, but I have some of her jeans and black jackets, which can be dressed up or down.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black cotton top with flowers on it by Molly Goddard, from Dover Street Market. It’s quite simple and goes well with jeans or a denim skirt.

Stella McCartney, 2016
Stella McCartney, 2016 | Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. It’s the story of American photographer Sally Mann and is beautifully written and very personal, so you come away with a strong idea about who she is.

The beauty staples I’m never without are Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream and Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, which stops my skin getting congested. Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream, £69 for 30ml; Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, £49 for 150ml;


If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood of one city, I’d choose the area encompassing London’s Lisson Grove and Marylebone. Even if I’m not shopping, I’ll wander up and down looking for inspiration. Alfies Antique Market still feels quite authentic: I’ll head inside to dealers Angela Ball and Martin Rooney who sell 20th-century design and decorative arts, and to Tin Tin Collectables, which has great vintage luggage. I enjoy boutiques where you don’t know what you’re going to find, and it’s often where I go to buy presents. I’ll also nip over to William Vintage for clothes, and I love the Japanese ceramics at Gallery Eclectic. Alfies Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street, NW8 (020-7723 6066; Angela Ball, 07846-770 743; Gallery Eclectic, 66 Marylebone High Street, W1 ( Martin Rooney, 07712-821 338; Tin Tin Collectables, 020-7258 1305; William Vintage, 2 Marylebone Street, W1 (020-7487 4322;

The person I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing is facialist Yvonne Martin, for her facial massage. When I pamper myself, it’s only ever to relax – and both her salon and the treatment are very calming. 5-6 Clarendon Terrace, London W9 (020-7266 2127;

McCartney’s cotton top by Molly Goddard
McCartney’s cotton top by Molly Goddard | Image: Gabby Laurent

The last music I downloaded was David Byrne’s new album American Utopia. I saw his show in the Hammersmith Apollo in the summer and I was mesmerised. It was artistic and so heartfelt. I have huge respect for him.

An indulgence I would never forgo is pedicures, because when I try to do them myself they don’t turn out well. I go to Kinga at Beautyque in the Simon Warwick salon. From £18; 34 Clifton Road, London W9 (020-7289 2100; 

Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, £49 for 150ml, and Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream, £69 for 30ml
Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, £49 for 150ml, and Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream, £69 for 30ml

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom, where I go to be quiet – it’s a very calm deep green. I love hanging out in bed. There’s a stack of books, but I avoid having a television in there as I would never come out.

In my fridge, you’ll always find hummus, Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate and chocolate-covered peanuts as that way I feel a bit healthy. I love snacking, so I always have a supply of olives, nuts and smoked almonds.

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann

The last meal that truly impressed me was at The River Cafe. I really like cooking, so I contacted them and asked if I could go in to watch their prep one morning. It was amazing; they’re such a bonded team. I always enjoy the fresh pasta with tomato sauce and the seasonal artichokes. It all feels like it’s cooked with love. Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6 (020-7386 4200;

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would have a little café and cook and bake simple food to entice people to become vegetarian. Saying that, attitudes have changed so much now; it’s not “us and them” any more, and I love that.


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