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2012 October 4

Daphne's Find! Who Is Hogan McLaughlin?

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(PARIS) Sure there was Hedi, Raf and Marc to obsess over in Paris, but The Daily also took some time to view the collection of 23-year-old newbie Hogan McLaughlin, who was taking appointments to show his edgy looks at Le Meurice. (Check out a sampling of McLaughlin's designs here!) As for his big break? It's all thanks to a tweet, and a load of talent...

What's your background?
I started at age two as a ballet dancer. My parents were actors and musicians. At age 16, I joined a huge contemporary dance company in Chicago, Howard Street, and we toured nationally and internationally. I had to leave high school. It was a very European-influenced company. I left them at age 20 and moved to New York to do visual art. Then I met Daphne Guinness on Twitter... 

On Twitter?
I tweeted her a few of my designs, and she finally got back to me about two months later. We met at her hotel room at the Carlyle. Within 24 hours, she commissioned two pieces for a photo shoot with Markus + Indrani. Everything was a whirlwind. I have no formal design training.  

How do you pick up your design skills?
I'm a fashion collector myself; I've always collected Rick Owens and that sort of style. I knew quality and I liked it. My drawings as a kid had a fashion influence in them, and I've always been fascinated with clothing, especially with shoes. Branimira Ivanova was the costume designer at Howard Street and we had similar minds in terms of design. I asked her if she wanted to collaborate. She's basically the master pattern maker on everything. I'll give her a drawing and it will be translated beautifully. We work in tandem. If I had anyone else, I don't think I'd be where I am.  

What was that meeting with Daphne like? 
I was obviously very nervous. I was sitting in the lobby because she had a doctor's appointment that was running late. I waited for half an hour and I thought that maybe she had second thoughts. Then, in walks this major creature of a woman. She whisked me from the elevator into her suite like we were old friends. It was very comforting and put me at ease, though I was very giddy, because it's her.

So what became of acquainting yourself with Daphne?
She also put some of my pieces in the Barneys window that she did and at her exhibition at FIT, which was really exciting. She wore one of my original pieces to the opening of the exhibition, which made people take notice of what I was doing.   

Who else has worn your stuff?
Lady Gaga. She wore a piece from my first collection to a Grammy's party, and then I did a custom piece for her for the "Born This Way Ball" promo. We've been in touch a lot with designs. It's nice to know I'm still on their radar.

Who's on your must-dress list?
Tilda Swinton
and Cate Blanchett are my ideal women. I'm a big Game of Thrones and Lord Of The Rings nerd so any kind of actress from those shows or movies would be great! 

Who called from Lady Gaga's team?
Brandon Maxwell's [Gaga's stylist, with Nicola Formichetti] assistant contacted me. Gaga saw one of my pieces from across the room and beelined for it, which was very flattering to hear! 

What do your friends and family think?
It's funny, because I don't have any friends who are in fashion, so everybody is excited and proud. But they keep me level.  

How would you describe the collection?
I'd call the current collection 'boudoir.' It's a lot of dressing gowns and corsetry. It's a very glam collection. 

Why did you want to bring your collection to Paris?
I love coming here for fashion week and seeing shows, but I also don't think New York is the appropriate venue for me. I feel more akin to the Paris mindset because of the design and quality; everything is handmade. There's something magical about being Paris! I'm surprised at how many people are piling in [for appointments]. We've had WWD, Marie Claire, and W come by.  

Who were your inspirations growing up?
I take a lot from costume designers, actually. I love Colleen Atwood who works with Tim Burton all the time. I also like the theatrical designers. I wouldn't call Givenchy theatrical, but Riccardo Tisci's work is oh my God! Galliano is a genius. Of course, I always get comparisons to McQueen which is extremely flattering. I hate to sound cliché when I say that he's an inspiration, but he is.  

How does that make you feel?
Amazing, but also a nervous wreck because of performance anxiety.  

What's your price point?
A lot of it is couture quality, so it's anywhere from a couple thousand to $10,000 for gowns.  

Are you selling in stores?
No, it's just private clients and celebrities, but I'd love to get into a small boutique. I'd love to be in Barneys eventually. 

How often have you been to Paris? 
Quite a lot. My dad did a lot of acting and so we flew everywhere. I was here last fashion week for the Gaultier show and I saw it again this year, which was fun. It felt like a party. A lot of the looks are very wearable. 

Have you met Gaultier?
He was a very sweet and soft-spoken guy.  

Let's talk about these tattoos! How many do you have?
I got my first one at eighteen and I've gotten one every month since. I have no idea how many I have now. I've lost count.  

Do you have them on your legs, too?
I've never been a fan of leg tattoos, but I think I'm running out of space.  

What are they of?
Mostly pin-up girls. I like the old sailor aesthetic because it works well with pasty people. I don't tan. 

Dita von Teese would probably love your stuff!
We've sent her over some stuff and she did, but she's very tiny. She's smaller than sample sale. If she ever asked for anything, we'd totally make it for her. There's a lot of her influence on my current collection. I met her at the Gaultier exhibition in San Francisco and we spent a few moments chatting. 

What did your mom do?
She was a vocalist, but she owns a milk company and my dad is now the CFO. They are the middleman between the farms and the big corporations. I'm primed to take over it someday, so I've got to get my business in order... 

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