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Interview with Patrick McDonald from Bravo TV’s “Launch My Line”

Submitted by on Saturday, 5 December 2009No Comment

patrick mcdonald

OK Patrick, Let’s shut it down!!! Give us the dirt.

You know there are certain things I can’t say!

That’s gonna make this a really short interview. Maybe what you can tell us is ‘who are you’?

People that really know fashion, know what I’ve done. A lot of people still ask to this day, ‘What does he do besides being dandy and dressing up?” So, I want to clear that up. I’ve been living in New York for three decades. I moved to New York in the late 70s from California with my twin brother to be a model. My roommate at the time worked for Steve Rubell at Studio 54. I would hang out there and that’s where I met people like Antonio Lopez, Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias who all worked at Fiorucci, which was an Italian clothing store. I went to Fiorucci one day and got a job- It was on the cutting edge, the place where everybody would meet up. I’d go in everyday in my skintight jeans, with my cowboy boots in red or white, a big Kieselstein belt, my Norma Kamali coat, shag hair and lots of make up. I worked on the first floor with a little woman named Sweet Pea, who had a card and magazine section. Every month Andy Warhol would come by and sign issues of Interview Magazine.

Sounds like your look today is totally different from back then. How did your current signature style develop?

My look when I came to New York was kind of gothic, pale make up, always eyeliner and a beauty mark. In the mid 80s, I went to work for Barneys. I was the manager of a little area in the duplex in the men’s store. They carried designers like Fabrice and Thierry Mugler. Gene Pressman (ex-co chairman and face of Barneys) allowed all of us to be who we wanted to be.

Tina Louise from Gilligan’s Island always did the beauty mark thing too! Any relation?

That was a rumour (laughs)! Tina Louise is not my mother!!! That was started by Joey Arias. One Summer, my hair got really streaky from the sun, and Joey would call me Ginger (the character Tina Louise played on 60s sitcom Gilligan’s Island), and he told everybody that I was Tina Louise’s son. I eventually met Tina Louise and she said, “It doesn’t matter to me but, first of all, we could be brother and sister, not mother and son”. But I have to beg to differ…there’s more than a twenty year difference! So, darlin, you could be my mother!

patrick-mcdonald

Launch My Line is a show about industry professionals who secretly held a desire to have their own clothing line. Some work in fashion, some don’t. Where do you fit in?

I worked for the designer Fabrice for many years after Barneys. After he passed away in the late 9os, I went to work for John Anthony in PR. After that, I met Ike Ude. He asked me to write for his magazine Arude. I became the lifestyle editor. He featured me in the Style File section of the magazine and called me a “Dandy” and that’s how that started. At that time I didn’t consider it my style.

What would you like to be called?

I don’t know, but don’t call me a fashionista!!! I think it’s a generalization for people who don’t know what to call me. I’m not a fashionista. I think fashionista means fashion victim. I’m not a victim.

Is New York full of fashion victims?

New York fashion has become more dictated, by the stores, by the fashion press. The stores have to do what they’re told. I like people who have their own signature look. I probably will always have [arched] eyebrows and a beauty mark…I might look like the drummer from Taxi Driver (laughs)…! People now want to be like everybody else, they want to fit in. I’m driven. I love Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Paul Smith. When I know someone like you (awhh!!), Amanda Lepore, Kenny Kenny, and even the writer Tom Wolfe, that’s what I’m drawn to. And if that’s a narrow group of society, that’s fine!

Is Launch My Line in a way a reflection of a ‘narrow group’ of society?

The show is about 10 professionals in their own fields, from an architect to a fashion writer, to a fashion critic, a DJ and so on. We are paired with 10 experts who are established designers, Dean and Dan from DSquared host. They are there to help create our vision. None of us know how to sew. We’ve always wanted to launch our own clothing lines and our pairings are there to help. It’s real. It’s off the cuff. It was a hard experience. You’ll just have to watch and see what happens!

Paisley Dalton

Launch My Line airs Wednesdays at 11pm on Bravo

www.bravotv.com


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