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2013 April 18

Golden Boy Zac Posen On Magnum Ice Cream And That $1.5 Mil Frock

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Zac Posen's $1.5 Million Dress for Magnum Ice Cream Zac Posen's $1.5 Million Dress for Magnum Ice Cream
Courtesy Magnum, left; Billy Farrrell Agency, right
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(NEW YORK) Zac Posen is a busy man. Not only is he wrapped up designing his own line and its diffusion offshoots: he's also the latest fashion fixture on Project Runway and has a slew of collabs under his belt. His latest pairing, with Magnum Ice Cream, resulted in a $1.5 million dollar dress, in celebration of their gold ice cream bar. Actress Caroline Correa will debut the custom gown in tonight's premiere of Jon Cassar's short film, As Good As Gold, in which Posen will be making his first foray into acting. Only Zac Posen could make a dress that's not only worth (more than!) a million bucks, but makes a woman feel like a million bucks too. We sat down with him this morning to find out about his golden gown.

What went through your mind when you were approached by an ice cream company?
The first thing that was most important to me, as an epicurean fanatic and a person that loves deserts and cooking, was that I needed to eat the Magnum Gold ice cream bar. I wanted to capture the sensuality and the liquid quality of gold, melting chocolate, and smooth ice cream. I was inspired by the gold bar's glamour...and the self-pleasure of eating ice cream, because it just makes everybody happy.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
It changes, but I love making ice cream. I make my own sometimes! I usually make it from what I have at hand, but if you have some egg yolks, great cream, sugar and lemon zest you can make it. I also love coffee ice cream, pistachio ice cream and plain vanilla ice cream with chocolate on it.

What does Magnum Gold taste like?
I love the sensuality of the bar's silkiness, the chocolate coating, the gold. It has a Tahitian vanilla flavor, so there's an exoticism to it. 

How did this translate to a dress?
I wanted to create something an equivalent, ultimate luxury. Something with movement and a liquid quality. The dress needed to have a sheen, like melting ice cream. And, we had to figure out how to work with gold so it wasn’t cumbersome and heavy.

Did it end up weighing a lot? 
They're very thin sheets of gold in 24-karat gold leaf. Then, we did multiple sizes of hand-cut paillettes and laid them on in scales to highlight the body. We did smaller ones on the torso, and it ombres into larger scales at the bottom. I wanted something simple and iconic. I always try to go by the motto, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

How does this dress differ from what you typically do with dresses?
Our clothing has a complexity to it normally, but I wanted it to just be about the impact, like the first taste of biting into the Magnum Gold ice cream bar. I don’t do a huge amount of embroidery in my own collection. It’s very architectural and anatomical, and has to do with  always loving a woman’s body. This project was about working with materials I can’t work with all of the time!

How was it to work in such a gilded manner?
Gold is quite malleable and has amazing qualities. I love gold and I love jewelry. Who doesn’t? Gold has been a historic symbol of sensuality, luxury, trade, and commerce for centuries. I just wanted to create something that felt one of a kind and as yummy as Magnum Gold.

How long did the embroidery take?
It took tons of weeks in our atelier. It took four weeks just to sew it! But it took even longer for the whole project, including: sourcing the gold, laying out all of the technical aspects of it, and doing couture fittings on Caroline Correa.

Had you worked with her before?
No. She came to the studio, we did a fitting and we filmed our first meeting and fitting and had a blast. She has that star quality, that magic aura!

What was the fitting process like?
You have to perfect a couture gown, so we had to highlight her actual body and we fit the under bodices and did all the changing places of sequins. You know I’m a perfectionist. 

How do you factor into the short flick, besides the dress?
I’m in the film playing a caricature of myself. It was my Hollywood acting debut!

Who else could pull this frock off? 
I’m sure all of my girlfriends would look fabulous in it. They’d probably just lay in bed wearing it and reading the New York Times!

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