What innocently started out as a way to helped out a friend who worked at a latex company, Geoffrey Mac quickly cemented his career as a master latex crafter and pattern-maker. Good enough for Marshall Fields, in Chicago, to present him with an award and give him a quarter of their sales floor to his latex creations.
He was so good at it that Geoffrey soon dug himself into a hole of bondage fetish fanatics and S&M devotees. Latex's kinky connotations stuck to him like glue for a decade. Plus, he is wise to add, in a phone interview, that you don't sew latex. You glue it together by hand and the toxicity was getting into his skin.
After nearly a decade of being the master of latex/fetish couture, Geoffrey knew it was time to shift gears.
When presented with an opportunity to present a collection again, Mr. Mac saw this is a way to renew himself and prove to the world, he is more than a latex crafter. He even swore never to use black in this collection.
He taught and teaches advace pattern-making at the Art Institute for two years. He wants people to focus on his skill and knowledge, not his kinky latex clientele.
His aquatic Spring/Summer 2011 Presentation at SkyBAR, in West Hollywood. After eight years of being the Latex Master, Geoffrey's new collection is him breaking out of bondage.
For a fresh start and inspiration, Geoffrey Mac went as far away as he can get from the latex's dark lair-the Great Australian Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera, and the cute sea creatures there.
The current rage for sequins have been matted here for the illusion of shimmering scales. Ruffles morphed into fins.
Showing his fashion history knowledge, Mac turns the concept of the Edwardian bustle inside and out.
The futuristic Edwardian, "Andromeda" Wedding Gown is the first time he did a wedding gown. Using shell creatures, such as sea anemones and the nautilus, their shells influence the idea of "a bustle within a bustle within a bustle."
The West Hollywood crowd was taken by "conservative on the front, intriguing in the back" of the "Andromeda" Wedding Gown.
Another gown influenced by sea shells, actually the concentric domes of the Sydney Opera House, is the Sting Ray Gown. In fact, the Sydney Opera was the one that started this all which led him to explore the surrounding sea life. This also give him another excuse-and the restrain-not to use black as a crutch for elegance.
Geoffrey calls the "Sting Ray" Gown, his red carpet gown. For a New York designer who was selling couture latex to the fetish crowd in Chicago, debuting his collection is also pointing to a new direction to a new crowd in a new city that is approriate for where he wants to go in life. Showcasing his technicial craftsmanship was him saying, "Geoffrey Mac can do glamorous red carpet for Hollywood."
In a cross-country phone interview, Geoffrey said sea animals provided the style line for a more natural but sexy look that was more refined, conjuring up Old Hollywood. The tailoring architectural.
The Sea & the Seacape elements were natural but softening the base for a more organic effect but no less elegant.
Crushed gems to soften the dazzle, also to emulate coral, scales, and shagreen. These were hand-beaded. Geoffrey sew the entire collection himself. This is his first attempt at an earthy color story but it doesn't look or feel like it.
He calls the "Sting Ray" Gown, a basic gown with a kick.
Geoffrey still has not entirely given up on latex as a material. Over the years crafting latex outfits, he learned the positive, little nuances of it. One reason latex fanatics love latex is how it feels on one's skin. The women who did try it on, can't help but rave how it smoothes and flattens out every bump as it pulls the person's body in all the right spots. The models rave how everything, even the Latex Gown, is wearable.
The Latex Gown is a clear pink, with a heart-shaped bustle, influenced by a jellyfish. He didn't shine the rubber. He is trying to make latex classy, couture as possible.
This West Hollywood debut installation was special, in that, Geoffrey Mac made sure it was presented here in Hollywood. Manhattan has yet to see this.
When this scribe mention to him that New York Fashion Week also showed the jewel trend, Geoffrey wearily saying that New York Fashion is so commerical that it eats itself, knock-offs doing knock-offs. Launching his Spring/Summer 2011 collection in West Hollywood, the land of red carpets premieres was the grasp of fresh air he needed.
He is not concerned with commerciality. Geoffrey is more concerned about stellar beauty, enhancing individual beauty and keeping it wearable, "There is not worse than a piece wearing you, not you wearing the piece." He is not interested in doing Lady Gaga clothes.
He is happy not to use black for a change.
Geoffrey is really satisfied by how everything turned out in his first foray into Hollywood. The crowd was very receptive to his aquatic collection. Stylists have asked him to outfit their music videos and the red carpet for their clients.
The most inspiring moment is when he realized his least favorites were the most favorite among Hollywood fashionistas. This is the moment when it hits him that there is everything for everyone.
This is a good step in the right direction. Geoffrey Mac is finally busting out of latex.