Mary McFadden has been on my mind alot lately.
I thought it was due to my recent mini-stack of returns to the sea of energy that is Venice beach last month.
Turns out it may just be my need to raise a glass in honor of her birthday, which was on October 1st. She may have decided to celebrate out in Venice for it and was in the ether around me as I plowed back into town to be in Venice October 1st for the Venice Afterburn Art festival.
In the spring of 2021 we’d met within the Venice vortex condo of Goddesses that had been my protective writerhead basecamp for years whenever i’d come through.
It had been her first sojourn in said vortex but her amazing artist-author daughter was deep with the demiurge running the xanadu, and I’d heard of her coming and going for eons before we’d finally met that spring. Writers there are rare. She was working on a cool book on Venice while I was deep in the weeds with Elision out there that spring, and it was so cool having another writer running around the cluster of condos overlooking the promenade as it stuttered out of what lockdown had done to it.
…but Mary McFadden took to the chaotic glory of all the vortex eternally is like Aphrodite herself would take to sea foam and water.
Those who say “never meet your idols” are punkasses.
Maybe they as acolyte are not really as ‘about that(fill in the blank)life’ as they’ve shouted they are, which Can be hilariously sobering to find out mid-stride.
Or maybe their idols just aren’t cut of the same stuff the real ones of the fashion vanguard were woven up from.
If you’re a true fashist, ya wanna meet the ones who were living “it” for real in a world that presented as if to have those kinds of lives chocked full of creativity were a cautionary fairytale.
McFadden was & still is truly one of my heroes because she actually helmed the designhead clan I was born by blood into. To me, She is the biggest tahitian pearl in the necklace of my tribe because She is who developed the original industrial pleating fabric techniques that my japanese design mentors opened my eyes with.
But I also knew the life I live via AOLAB was possible to pastiche together due to Devouring glossy magazines featuring her living a variant of that life, either front and center as subject, vicariously via her gorgeous clothes drenching glamazons in far-off bohemian enclaves, or energetically because she’d been the one in charge of the story’s art direction.
In a generation of “creatively specialized, once removed” talented folk…comprehending that the further back in fashion you go, the more of damned near everything Everyone truly was doing to the hilt of it…can get lost.
It’s on us with eyes to see… that we do what we can …so that kind of intel is once again found…by whomever was supposed to find it following what we’re doing.
It is in that spirit that I’m going to purposely repost the interview Ms. Mary McFadden blessed me with during that storied stay at the Venice vortex a little ways back.
As a birthday gift. For yall… who may not know the glorious badassed beauty but need to deep dive her geist like a motherfuck. So you can go discover Her.
…and If, after reading, you feel the nudge to grab a heavy crystal rocks glass, elegantly drop some ice into it, fill it almost to the brim with Tanqueray before decadently squeezing the life out of a grapefruit into and over it, removing naan a majestic ring from your Erte-esque fingers as you do so…
You should follow that nudge and raise a “Happy Birthday, Ms. McFadden ” glass to the heavens today too. Drink up.
Because if you get her, if she moves you…it means you now have eyes to truly see. This fashion stuff has ALWAYS been about more than meets the eye. Consider yourself inducted into the Order of Original Fashionista Badasses.