Wednesday, September 7, 2011
5 Minutes With Patrick McDonald
Patrick McDonald, better known as “The Dandy” to fashionistas everywhere, has been at the top of the New York fashion scene since his arrival in the late 1970s. Born in Germany to American parents, McDonald spent his early years in California before starting his career as a model. McDonald’s love of high fashion led him to pursue a career in the industry, holding positions as an assistant buyer at Barney’s and couture director at Fabrice. A style icon known for his unique look, McDonald has appeared in publications that include PAPER, Detour, New York, Numero, SoHo Style, Surface, The New York Times Lifestyle section, Sportswear International and Russian Vogue. McDonald has been voted one of Gotham Magazine’s 100 Best Dressed New Yorkers. He was recently featured in Bravo TV's'Launch My Line' and was interviewed extensively in the documentary about Bill Cunningham, the street-style photographer for the New York Times.
Q1. Which song or record has really changed your life?
PMcD: The soundtrack to "Mame". In the 1960's when I was a little boy my mother took my twin brother Michael and I to see "Mame" with Angela Landsbury at the Geary Theater in San Francisco. I loved it so much. The music, the songs opened my eyes to new possibilities and the life I wanted to live. It was pure fantasy and decadence that I would desire in my life.
Q2. When did the dandy lifestyle become your style?
PMcD: I would say that my dandyism started at a young age, about five when I opened a box of "Cracker Jacks" and I found a prize inside. The prize was a painted metal bird pin which I wore on my lapel at school. This was the beginning of my dandy life and the pursuit of beauty!
Q3. Have you recovered from ‘Launch My Line’ yet? How was the reality TV experience for you?
PMcD: I have recovered from "Launch My Line", it was a fantastic experience, except for Roberto. Until then I never knew a person like that existed. He was more challenging then the competition!
Q4. You were great in the Bill Cunningham documentary-Do you feel part of a golden age of fashion personalities like Bill, Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow?
PMcD: Thank-you for asking me that. It would be an honor to be part of this fabulous group of fashion icons but I really think it is up to others to think of me in that way. This would be a dream come true!
Q5. As a fixture on the front rows of New York fashion week, do you ever think that runway shows, as they are now, are an old fashion way to present collections?
PMcD: Absolutely not! To really and truly see clothes is on the runway, one has to see the creativity, the fabric, the cut and movement of each garment, that's true fashion!