Is it worth it?: Shirt shrift

At pounds 230, you're paying for the name with Stella McCartney's Bowli ng Shirt

Cayte Williams
Saturday 21 June 1997 23:02

In just a few years, Stella McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul, has gone from the sheltered world of Mull of Kintyre and veggie burgers to chief designer at the House of Chloe. Known for flimsy, itsy-bitsy stuff, as worn by chums Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Patsy Kensit, she has produced an ultra-feminine bowling shirt for her own label's Spring/ Summer collection.

So, is Stella all hype? Well she's done a bog-standard job here, taking a sporty shape and making it girly (you're not really meant to bowl in it). As one friend remarked, "It looks like one of those outfits ladies wear in bakeries."

Stella uses cream silk and caramel satin piping at the collar and cuffs, and for serious wannabes has embroidered her initials on the breast pocket. Trouble is, it's badly made. The piping is well-executed, but the hem is uneven and bunched and the pocket looks like the work of a drunk. Even the holes for the daisy-shaped, plastic buttons are the wrong colour - white cotton on cream silk? Please!

"You wouldn't get much in the pocket, the buttons are fiddly and the material is catching already," says Irene Ellins, vice-captain of the Parsons Green Bowling Team. "The pocket's wonky and the hem isn't right." I tell her it costs pounds 230. "Hourrachh!" she exclaims.

So does Stella's shirt have any merits? "This was the first collection she put out to the public," says Debbie Jacobs of Browns Focus in London. "She was under tremendous pressure to get it done in time. It was her first mistake, but her next collection will be exquisitely made."

So, it's not worth pounds 230, then? "That's nothing compared with buying a top from any of the big designers like Prada or Donna Karan," says Debbie Jacobs of Browns Focus in London. "For me, it's a reasonable price for our stylised customers." Who have more money than sense, I fear.

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