About Stevie Mac
The hall of mirrors at Versailles, The Borghese Gardens of Italy, the perfume of Grasse, Golden dragons adorning The Forbidden City, the sounds of Sithar music in Jaipur, the wonder of The Taj Majal, the majesty of Angkor Wat and, most importantly, the subtle, sultry, sexual curves of a woman’s body all realize themselves in a creation by Steven McDermott.
Luxurious fabrics and impeccable attention to detail, combined with globally influenced embroideries and themes present themselves in every collection since founding his design house with his first pręt-a-porter collection in the spring of 2006.
Born and raised in Southern California, McDermott was influenced as a child by the rich carvings, fabrics and decorative arts of China and Japan. His first sketches being a series of Geisha and Kabuki. He began collecting kimono and 19th century shogun warrior dolls. His first garments were interpretations on these themes.
The Pacific Ocean, the purple sunsets of the California desert, the smell of sage and seaweed were all parts of Steven’s childhood and are evident today in his taste level and understanding of beauty.
The fashions of Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, James Galanos, Valentino, Halston, Mario Fortuni, Elsa Schiaparelli, Gianfranco Ferre and Yves St. Laurent cemented his early desire to create, and those influences were omnipresent in his childhood. His grandmother, Willa St. Pierre, was a buyer for Bullocks Wilshire in Los Angeles in the 1940's. Her taste level and influence left a deep impression on the upbringing of Steven, as did that of his mother, a stewardess for Pan American Airways in the late 1950's.
I remember hearing stories of pearl merchants, fashion brokers and the wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo as a child, and glamorous stories of Hollywood stars on the beach at Waikiki at The Royal Hawaiian. These stories only added to my love for and desire to create fashion as a young boy. McDermott recounts.
As a classical pianist and organist, his mother deeply influenced his love for Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi. Their music is expressed through his designs today.
I loved sitting underneath the piano, understanding the expression and perfection of God through this music. These great composers and their works, fill my head and express themselves through my hands when I design today - McDermott
Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and of course, Frank Sinatra also express themselves in his creations, from the glamour of Monte Carlo of the 1950's and Las Vegas of the 1960's, resulting in a deep appreciation for sexual and sensuousness of those periods.
Music is fashion, beauty is music and love of beauty and sexual power continue to be part of everything I design for a woman - McDermott
Upon completion of high school, McDermott was a missionary in Spain. He learned to speak Spanish fluently and was introduced to the rich and profound culture of Goya, Velasquez and Picasso. In the United States, McDermott studied at Brigham Young University, eventually returning to Southern California to study Fashion Design at U.C.L.A. and The Fashion Institute in Los Angeles. McDermott began his design career in film, designing costumes for the Cohen brothers Academy Award nominated film, Barton Fink. Steven then worked at Western Costume, the preeminent costume warehouse of old Hollywood, which enabled him to see and work with acres upon acres of costume from all the great films of “The Golden Age”. McDermott was honored to work with and be tutored by the late Hollywood Costumer, Wayne Finkleman, whose categorical knowledge of every piece of old Hollywood wonder was first-hand and easily re-countable. This was McDermott’s first hands-on introduction to Adrian, a master of pattern-making, detail, color combination and taste. The influence of Adrian on McDermott was and remains to this day deeply important.
Adrian remains one of the greatest creators ever, and I only hope to honor his memory in my future designs.
Upon leaving Hollywood, McDermott entered the Los Angeles garment center, becoming a cutter, then a pattern-maker and later a sportswear designer for an international sportswear company with factories in New Delhi and Hong Kong. His love affair with India and China began, and he spent 10 years traveling from Paris to London to Bangkok for themes, fabrics, inspiration, designing embroideries, and accessories. He worked closely with tailors, pattern masters and drapers in Delhi, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Steven has travelled extensively throughout India, Nepal, China and all of Southeast Asia, as well as St. Petersburg, Kiev, Moscow, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
While designing globally, McDermott moved for two years to Paris, living across from The Bourse on Rue St. Joseph and cementing his profound admiration and love for all things French. His fluency in the language and love for Bardot, Deneauve, Rousseau, Louis XV, Catherine de Medici and Napoleon Bonaparte continue today and influence his creations and dreams. Today, McDermott designs from his atelier on 7th Avenue in New York City and produces his sportswear collection in his atelier on 39th street-New York City. His hand embroideries of 18 Karat gold are crafted by artisans in India. Silk floral embroideries in spun silk thread, glass beads and semi precious stones reflect his love for the peony,chrysanthemum, rose, dogwood and magnolia, as well as the butterfly, songbird and cricket of China.
His holiday collection is centered on fine silk charmeuse, silk dupioni and organza in florals with billowy and feminine shapes, juxtaposed with clean and structured James Bond casino suits.
Cashmere knit sweaters; mink, ermine, suede, leather, fine alpaca, chinchilla and sable have been parts of his designs in the past and are part of his 2009 Fall pret a porter and evening wear collection.
His perfume Tattouage will launch in the fall of 2012-notes of Rose, Carnation, Sandalwood, pepper, lily of the valey and clove all mingle with a hint of gardenia . The packaging of Tattouage will envelope it’s wearer in a sultry sensuality of antiqued gold, black suede and rich Makasar wood.
A consummate snow-skier, lover of architecture, wine and food, Steven McDermott is driven today as always by the beauty of women, their bodies and the centuries-old desire for adornment and appreciation.
A woman, her body, is to be adorned, as it has been through the ages. A woman’s breasts, her neck, ears, hands, the small of her back…all deserve to be adorned and appreciated…no other creature on earth has the power to be complimented and adorned like the female form, to be beautiful, blatantly and subtly sexual simultaneously. - McDermott