Mary McFadden, 1984

In trying to understand Mary McFadden it’s easy to group her with other socialite/well-to-do women turned designers like Carolina Herrera or Jacqueline De Ribes. Indeed, McFadden’s air and clothes emit the aristocratic affectations that in this day and age seem more of a caricature than anything aspirational. But that grouping would be an injustice. In conversation with Barbaralee Diamonstein, you can see plainly for yourself just what makes McFadden the “High Priestess of Fashion,” and maybe, the most individualistic, passionate, eccentric, and compelling of all American designers.

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