It wasn’t always easy being vegetarian, even for rock stars. Sir Paul McCartney, who ditched meat and fish from his diet back in the mid Seventies, groans at the memory. “You wouldn’t have believed it.”It’s true: we’ve forgotten how alien a meat-free diet seemed to most people in the last millennium. These days, vegetarians have never had it so good.
Even if we aren’t all committing to removing meat from our diets completely, it seems that – call it flexitarianism, reducetarian, or simply cutting back – a significant chunk of the population will willingly go without some of the time.
Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) next week, the McCartney family has released a Meat Free Monday documentary short called ‘One Day a Week’ about the huge contributor to climate change that is often left out of conference discussions – animal agriculture.
Featuring Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone, ‘One Day a Week’ uses breathtaking aerial photography and hard-hitting facts to highlight the damaging environmental impact of animal agriculture and encourage people to help.
“There’s a simple but significant way to help protect the planet and all its inhabitants,” says Paul McCartney to camera. “And it starts with just one day a week. One day without eating animal products can have a huge impact in helping maintain that delicate balance that sustains us all.”
Mary McCartney has created a fashion capsule for the first time, the first in an ongoing series of product-driven projects. Mary is applying her photography art to new mediums through the launch of a scarf collection with MatchesFashion. The six-piece line will include archival photographs and specially made portraits, reprinted onto silk and woven wool.
Mary — who made a name for herself as a photographer in the mid-‘90s — was inspired by exhibition merchandise. “I spent more time in the gift shop at the V&A than I do in the museum because the collaborations are so good,” McCartney tells BoF. The project allows McCartney to “dip [her] toe” into other canvases for her work. Although she is keen to expand her product-driven collaborations, she is currently unsure of what those products might be. “I don’t see myself competing with my sister in the fashion sphere,” she says, referring to Stella McCartney (the sisters are daughters of musician Paul McCartney and photographer Linda McCartney.) “We’re always talking about [collaborating] and it will happen at some point, but it’s more about when.”
Today, Mary´s body of work is both portraits and social reportage. The line for MatchesFashion includes graphic images that show legs cast in fishnet tights and ample cleavage with rhinestone cowboy boot stickers on each breast, as well as two new “Paris Nude” portraits of comedienne Phyllis Wang.
Mary shoots on a Leica that was given to her by her late mother and a 35mm Ricoh camera, small enough to fit in a bag and not intimidate subjects. “There’s a way of [capturing private moments], which my mum taught me,” she says. “You don’t go around the room with a camera in people’s face.”
“Collaborating with a photographer was a natural thing for us,” Natalie Kingham, buying director at MatchesFashion, tells BoF. The project marks the first time the e-retailer has partnered with a photographer on a collection. “[What] we look for when buying [items in this category] is something that when tied as a scarf still looks beautiful, but then when opened changes to show a more solid image.” McCartney points out that they can be displayed on a wall, like her art work — although much cheaper: the scarves retail from £385 ($507.6).
Produced in Italy, the scarves are made in limited edition runs of 99 individually-numbered units and come with a certificate of authentication. “It’s a nice way of keeping it controlled,” she says. “It’s not a mass project.”
Mary is preparing a video now for Elvis Costello’s “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way.” This is the song that plays over the end titles of Paul McGuigan’s excellent new film, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”.
Annette Bening plays Hollywood siren and Oscar winner Gloria Grahame, Jamie Bell is her young lover Peter Turner. The story is based on Peter’s memoir and produced by the James Bond team of Barbara Broccoli and Michael S. Wilson.
The backstory for the song is that McGuigan and Broccoli went to to a Costello show last year at which, by coincidence, Costello mentioned Grahame in his patter. “We knew it was meant to be,” McGuigan told me last night at Sony Pictures Classics’s annual star studded dinner. “We went backstage and told him about the movie. He said, I’ll write you a song. And sure enough, on Christmas Day, it arrived in our emails. And it was perfect. ”
And he’s right. “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way” should be a Best Song nominee. Of course, the McCartneys and Costello have a history of collaborations. Paul and Elvis had a hit album together in 1989 with “Flowers in the Dirt.”
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