When I arrived at the home of Patrick McDonald on the Lower East Side, the mood was a bit nostalgic mixed with strokes of excitement. McDonald was slowly starting the process of packing an enormous closet. After 30 years of living in the Big Apple, the most famous dandy of New York City is moving away.
McDonald, who was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to American parents, is moving to California to join his twin brother Michael McDonald (not the singer) in Palm Springs. Together with partner Sally Hawthorne, they will run their fabulous store No. 6.
“I am going to become the Desert Dandy! I will miss New York, but change is good, and I have to see what possibilities this brings. Manhattan will always be in my heart,” McDonald said as he reaffirmed that he will be back often to visit friends.
“The Dandy” is perhaps one the most accurate definition of Patrick McDonald — he is a very elegant man with exquisite taste and impeccable manners who leaves such a strong impression wherever he goes, from the leisure moments on the dance floor of Studio 54 to work in Fiorucci, Barneys New York and Fabrice and is presently working as the dandy-of-all-trades at the company of jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald. Patrick is indeed unique!
In 2005, Bill Cunningham filled his whole “On the Street” style column in The New York Times newspaper with photos of McDonald, and such validation leaves no room for doubts. If Cunningham understands his style, we who love and admire fashion and true style should do the same.
McDonald, for sure, will be present at the New York Spring 2015 Fashion Week this September; his move to the West Coast is scheduled for two weeks after the fashions shows are over. The last show he will attend here (at least for now) will be The Blonds on Sept. 10th. He will wear black and an exquisite hat by Rod Keenan, which is being styled by artist Scooter LaForge with all the colors Mr. McDonald deserves.
Patrick McDonald, the Dandy of New York, is our first choice to open TheBlot Magazine’s new monthly Style Master feature. Must I still explain why we selected him?
Gazelle Paulo: Patrick, please describe your style with your own words.
Patrick McDonald: My style is my own, and it comes from my life’s experiences, and it is always evolving. It is all about how it makes me feel each day, and it has become my signature in my life. There is no description for it because it is always changing, but I would say it’s “Dandy!” Being a dandy means dressing with care and the pursuit of beauty.
Do you have any peculiar fashion habits?
All my habits are peculiar and not fashionable, but private!
How important has fashion and style been to you?
It is important; it’s all about the beauty of fashion, and that’s what attracts me to it. Unique and original style has always been important to me, and that’s what I am inspired by, the glamour of it. Fashion and style has made me the creative person that I am.
What was the defining fashion moment in your life?
Going to the Pucci Palace in Florence (Italy) with my mother and my twin brother, Michael, in the summer of 1967 and meeting Emilo Pucci! Seeing how elegant he was and watching the models show my mother clothes … the drama, the theater of it, I fell in love with it at such a young age. I knew then this is the kind of life and surroundings I want to be in! It was divine!
Who are the most elegant woman and man of all time?
Jacqueline de Ribes and Nicolas De Gunzburg. They are both extremely chic! I adore their style.
Fashionably speaking, if you could have a second chance to give another first impression, when and why?
I don’t want a second chance — I would not change anything I’ve done. This is the path I was meant to be on. No regrets!
What is your favorite store in the world and your favorite in New York City?
My favorite store in the world is No. 6 in Palm Springs, of course! It’s my store that I have partnered with my twin brother Michael and Sally Hawthorne. It’s a jewel box and has everything that I love! In New York, I would have to say Bergdorf Goodman — it is the best!
What was the most spectacular party you attended?
My 50th birthday party in New York at Buddakan followed by an after-party at Happy Valley. It was a fabulous soiree! It started with a private dinner and some of the guests included Amanda Lepore, Jason Wu, Nancy Bacich, Mark Settembre, Stephen Knoll, Kenny Kenny, Charles Nolan, Keanan Duffty, Nancy Garcia, Mao and Roger Padilha, the Duckie Brown boys, Cator Sparks, Rod Keenan, Austin Scarlett, Robert W. Richards, Tim Tareco and Tracy Stern. Kenny Kenny and Susanne Bartsch hosted the after party … it was the most divine evening!
If you could style one person, who would be the lucky one?
I don’t want to style anyone but myself. I think everyone should style themselves, then you would see the real person.
What is the perfect attire for the eternal sleep?
My birthday suit, darling! I want to leave this world the same way I came in to it. I can go shopping on the other side for all new things, how marvelous is that!
Gazelle Paulo is a contributing writer for TheBlot Magazine. He also writes a column for NewYorkSPY.com. Follow him on Twitter.