1.27.2013

something about mary mcfadden

At Brimfield years ago
I spotted a huge chunky gold leaf cuff 
sparkling on a table 
in the early morning light. 
I immediately reached for it 
because it had such a modern form.
At first I thought it might be African,
but the gold leaf threw that off, so I then thought
French Art Deco,
but it didn't seem that old,
 so I was stumped until I looked inside and saw the signature
"MARY MCFADDEN"
stamped in the metal.
Who the hell was Mary McFadden?
Well, 
the first person I asked said incredulously
how could I not know who Mary McFadden was,
so I decided to find out!
So, if you don't know either, you should find out too.
These pictures are from the book
"Mary McFadden: 
The High Priestess of High Fashion, 
A Life in Haute Couture,
D├ęcor, and Design".
That title ain't no joke,
and either is Mary.
So, 
back to our story....
When I got home I gave the bracelet as a gift to 
and she became kinda obsessed with Mary too.
She had plans to write her about the bracelet, to show her
her jewelry designs, to try to meet her.
Then one day we were in San Francisco,
and let's say Jessica has the bracelet on,
 and at a table in the window 
of a very fancy Chinese restaurant,
we see who we swear is Mary McFadden.
We stood outside staring in trying to decide what to do.
I tried to get Jessica to go in, but she was too shy and not positive it was her,
 and me, forget about it. 
That would be like asking me to sky dive, not ever gonna happen.
 So we moved on
and over beers talked about if it really was her, 
what were the chances, and if it was actually her, 
how we blew it, 
and dammit we should have just gone in 
and showed her the bracelet.
Then we forgot about it....
About a week later, 
as we were headed to the airport,
to fly back home to NYC,
I looked out the window of our taxi and saw 
this exotic and elegant woman in a beautiful long Mercedes with a driver.
It WAS her! 
We caught eyes, 
and I swear she remembered us from
outside the window of that Chinese restaurant the week before.
I wanted to wave, 
and 
almost did, 
but she was gone....

 Mary McFadden
In her New York City dining room.
1972
Photo by Horst

Mary McFadden
View of her apartment.
1972
Photo by Sam Haskins

Mary McFadden
From a spread in Vogue
June 1972
Photos by Duane Michals

Mary McFadden
Vogue
August 1968
Photo by Sam Haskins

Mary McFadden
Vouge
August 1968
Photo by Sam Haskins

Mary McFadden with her daughter Justine
in their NYC apartment.
Photo by Horst

Mary McFadden
Photo Marcus Leatherdale

Mary McFadden
Wearing a gold leaf bracelet similar to Jessica's.
Photo by Stephen Sprouse

Mary McFadden in her NYC showroom.

Mary McFadden leading seven models 
across a busy New York City street.
Vogue
September 1977
Photo by Oliviero Toscani

Mary McFadden's office

Mary McFadden's NYC apartment.
Architectural Digest
1999
Photo Michael Moran

Mary McFadden
Architectural Digest
1999
Photo Michael Moran

Mary McFadden's NYC apartment.
Architectural Digest
1999
Photo Michael Moran

Mary McFadden's NYC apartment.
Architectural Digest
1999
Photo Michael Moran

Mary McFadden's NYC apartment.
Architectural Digest
1999
Photo Michael Moran

Mary McFadden's Manhattan apartment.
Photo Pieter Estersohn

Mary McFadden
On the stairway of her New York apartment.
1972
Photo by Horst

Buy the book

There is also a new book out,
buy it
I just ordered it so look for
More Mary soon!

One more thing:

is a funny
People Magazine
article on her from 1989!

2 comments:

  1. I met her once. A friend worked for her designing clothes. Then he quit and went to work for me doing architectural painting. Then went back to her and painted all that gilded work you see in her apartment. He now does conte crayon drawings that he shows at Von Lintel.

    http://www.vonlintel.com/Joseph-Stashkevetch.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you for such a wonderful photo essay on a very contemporary woman.

    ReplyDelete