Photo by Thomas Story
Born in Chicago, Stella’s annual cross country travels to the West Coast in the family’s Volkswagen bus began at age five and cultivated such a strong inherent connection with the open land and its cultural freedom that she found herself drawn to make the drive on her own at the age of eighteen. Settling onto the mesa-top of her Grandfather’s land in Del Mar she felt a sense of rapport as she dropped her roots into the sienna colored earth. With a degree in painting and printmaking, Stella has since worked as a fine artist all the while developing a twenty-five year career as a stylist and costume designer. In her career as a stylist/costume designer she has worked on music videos with musical artists such as David Bowie, Bob Dylan, REM, and Iggy Pop. She has also worked on domestic and international ad campaigns, including those of Levis, Nike, Coke, and Chanel. Stella has had the creative pleasure of working with directors such as David Fincher, Tarsem Singh, Phillip Noyce and Sam Bayer. Inspired by an introduction to Montana, Stella and her daughter Alba chose to leave their 1920s Venice storefront home, the very first of her renovations, and move North to settle in and begin restoring a 1900 farm style house in the historic district of Bozeman. Her elegant interior design work in updating this classic house been published in books and editorials. In the grace of a country lifestyle, she opened a fashion boutique called ‘Twig’ and cared for her family.
As her daughter reached high school age and chose to attend boarding school back in California, Stella found herself following a longstanding dream and buying an old adobe casita in Tesuque, New Mexico, and beginning yet another transformative renovation. She says, “When a building speaks to me, as if asking for the help to restore it to its true character, I find myself completely taken. The passion of working in three dimensions, creating living spaces that restore the tactile foundation as well as the soul of a building grows in me more all the time. Our living spaces, like our clothing, are a primal form of our never ending human expression.” The Tesuque casita has been photographed and published in Sunset Magazine, Mountain Living, and included in the book American Rustic.
Stella’s degree in painting and deep knowledge of color theory intermixes with her love of textiles to become the dynamic end result of all her interiors. Stella continues to work in art making, renovation, interior design and styling.