For years designer Geoffrey Mac has been the creative force behind theatrical costumes for some of the biggest names in music and pop culture. But now, for Spring 2012 the designer is bringing his unique eye and talent for creating show-stopping looks to the street wear realm. Style Wylde caught up with Geoffrey Mac this week to discuss inspiration, design, and creating the perfect New Years Eve gown for a true pop culture icon.
SW: Before debuting your Spring 2012 collection you had a successful career in costume design working for some of the biggest names in entertainment including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Scissor Sisters and Dee lite. What inspired you to make the move into street wear?
GM: I decided to launch the line and make the move into ready-to-wear to make it accessible and to reach a larger audience. I love transforming people and making them happy through garments.
SW: How did your design process differ in creating a full Spring collection as opposed to costume design for a specific star? Did you find there was more restriction on your creativity with the collection, or were you able to express all your ideas in the same way you would with a theatrical piece?
GM: The spring collection was a labor of love. I was so inspired with the line from beginning to end in the same way as a theatrical piece. Getting your aesthetic point across in ready-to-wear is just about refining what you are saying while still speaking directly. Sometimes the quieter words are the strongest.
SW: Growing up, which pop culture icons were you inspired by? Who were you a fan of? Do those icons still inspire your creative work today?
GM: When I was a child my pop culture icons were Billy Idol, Madonna and most of all Cyndi Lauper. I am still inspired by the images of these retro stars from the 80's however today they have a much more subdued style. I have always been attracted to the next hottest look and always have appreciated those who are not afraid to express themselves.
SW: It’s been said that your Spring 2012 collection references an amalgam of many cultures, Egyptian, Mayan, and Native American. What is it about these cultures that attracted you and led you to draw on them for your design?
GM: I am obsessed with ancient cultures and all the similarities that arise through symbology. It's amazing how cultures from all over the planet have commonalities in everything from architecture to beliefs.
SW: Tell us a little about the Geoffrey Mac girl. Who do you picture in your pieces? Age? Mentality? Lifestyle?
GM: The Geoffrey Mac girl is a fearless confident girl who is on the forefront of fashion. She is not afraid to speak her mind and be seen. She typically ranges in age from 21-40 however my custom clients go up to 70. I love speaking through a mature woman and giving her something new yet age appropriate to say.
SW: If you weren’t designing, what do you think you’d be doing? What other career could you picture yourself having?
GM: I used to be in painting and photography. I would definitely be in fine art as I constantly have something to say aesthetically.
SW: Now that you are making a name for yourself as a true street wear designer, will you continue with theatrical design as well? Is there anyone that you would ‘drop everything’ to design a costume for?
GM: Well, we just dropped the fall winter 2012 for Debbie Harry's new years gown. (ed note: pictured right) I have loved her as long as I can remember. She is just as amazing as she seems, a true star burning bright as ever. Future client wish list would include Bjork, Madonna, Rihanna, Janelle Monett
SW: What’s next for your brand? Do you plan to show in New York next month for Fall 2012?
GM: We are planning to show fall 2012. We are about to launch our on-line shop and finally make it available to everyone. So next on the plate is to reach a new level of customers and have global accessibility.
For more information on Geoffrey Mac please visit the designer's official web home.