You've contributed to her for a while?The first time was four years ago.....Wow, I'm old.
How did you meet Margaret?
It's a connection through Peaches, actually. She had a road assistant who also assisted Margaret. She asked if she could show Margaret my stuff, and Margaret liked it, so she asked me to make her something for her record release party. When she was nominated for a Grammy, I sent her a congratulatory text and we immediately started talking about a dress.
Her manager wanted to go with someone else as I understand it?
Luckily I drive a better deal than other designers. You can totally get celebrity clients by cutting a little bit of your pay. You've got to be competitive and it's amazing that she took the risk and wore my dress to the Grammys.
What does it feel like to see something you designed on the red carpet?
It's an amazing ego boost. It feels really great. Like a gold star that you get when you're in elementary school.
Why do you choose to dress gay icons?
It's half design and half complete fucking accident. I've been asked to work with really famous people, and I've turned them down because I have to be really selective in my projects. Right now I'm having fun dressing people I admire and look up to. Margaret Cho for example: is there anyone who's been as politically active? She's so vocal and she sacrificed a lot of her career for it. She really went out there for gay rights and women's rights. Peaches is the same way. She really pushed people to open their minds to music. These are real women. They are strong and they are doing something that's interesting to me.
-- RYAN MCLENDON
portrait courtesy of Neil Wilder