Geary Marcello dreamed about becoming a Women's Wear Special Occasion Fashion Designer since childhood. After a traumatic past he decided to finally pursue this goal and go back to school. He moved to San Diego and applied for a full scholarship at Fashion Careers of California. He went to school 6 days a week from 9AM to 9PM and did an internship with Zandra Rhodes as a design room / pattern maker. Upon graduating with his BA degree and 4.0 GPA in Fashion Design, Geary moved to Key West, Florida to take a Pattern Making position with celebrity fashion designer, Victoria Lesser.
After a year he moved back to Los Angeles and joined union IATSE Local 705 while working for Bob Mackie and his business partner Ret Turner. In 2003 he sold his condo, car and all other possessions and moved to Amsterdam to open up his own design studio. Geary opened Deadly Design Couture and quickly found his client base which included: Queen Beatrix, Princess Maxima and Hans Klok.
In 2006 he moved back to NY and did an internship with Vera Wang as a pattern maker. In 2007, Geary was offered a position with Mia Gyzander. Some of his contracts included: Wynona Judd, Walt Disney and Six Flags. In 2008 Geary designed gowns for Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Miss Ghana for Miss Universe Organization and many others.
Currently, Geary is only designing custom, made-to-order gowns and costumes and planning a ready wear line in the near future. He is also a costume designer and wardrobe person both Union and non-union in New York.
1. What inspired you to get into fashion design?
As a child I use to watch all the variety shows in the 70's (Sonny & Cher, Sonny Show, Cher Show, Dolly, Lola Falona....) and the costumes and gowns I would see that that Ret Turner and Bob Mackie designed were my biggest inspiration. All the gowns and costumes were so streamline, glamorous and theatrical. I would also watch the old musicals of the 40's and 50's which the height of glamour and fashion at it's finest. Erte was another major influence on me. His Art Deco style of costume with the architect of his gowns are breathtaking.
2. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I went to Fashion Careers of California in San Diego. and I have a BA in Fashion Design. I did internships with Zandra Rhodes and Vera Wang.
3. Describe your philosophy about fashion?
First and foremost is quality and secondly is if my heart isn't 110% into making a gown I won't do it. I feel will obviously reflect in everything about the gown and that's something I just can't live with. I also believe my gowns should be sexy, showing off the woman's curves, be timeless and have femininity. I think a woman should make the clothes. She should feel sexy, secure, confident and command the world when she puts that gown on!
No matter what the trends or what people might say, always stay true to your personal style.
4. What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring designers?
Be strong. Be persistent. NEVER give up on your dreams. Keep an open mind and always think outside the box. One more thing...Network. This I found to be one of the most important key factors of being successful in this industry.
When I started out in the industry I told my parents I was going to start at the bottom and work my way up. They sat me down and told me, "Why start small, go straight to the top and you're there!" I went to work for the LA Opera and Bob Mackie (EC2) right out of school. My parents were right. My career reads like a who's who of rock, royalty and entertainment and I'm not done yet. I not only design for myself but I am a member of the NY costume and wardrobe union's, I am a freelance pattern maker and pattern maker for couture houses, I am a stylist on a new television reality show, I model (print/commercial and runway) and a textile designer for interior designers.
5. Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
I get inspirations from art, music, my emotions, my photography...It is so varied. I get my inspirations from everything that I am influenced by around me.
6. What is a typical day for a fashion designer like yourself?
I have a live in work space/loft, which I have to say I am very fortunate to have in New York. After I have coffee, I check my e-mail. Return business phone calls. I head out and source and cost textiles and trims. Meetings mid-day through late day and then get back to my studio and work on patterns til about 7:00 PM and call it a day. But because I have a live-in/work loft, I find I work 6-7 days a week.
7. Which fashion designers have been important points of reference for you?
Bob Mackie, Ret Turner, Vera Wang, Donald Deal, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, John Bartlett, Erte, Halston, Valentino, Donatella Versace, Alexander McQueen, Hugo Boss, Reem Acra, Carolina Herrera, Sully Bonnelly, Vivienne Westwod
8. If you had the opportunity to design an outfit for one person who would it be?
That's a hard one. Sophia Loren/ Penelope Cruz or Christina Aguilera are all on the top of my list. They are all timeless, gorgeous, glamorous and have personalities and bodies every woman on earth envies.
9. Can you tell me about your collection?
I think the woman's body should be celebrated. Although all my gowns are form fitting and show the curves, they are tasteful, timeless, glamorous and cover up a lot. I love to highlight the neck, the collar bone, the shoulders, the back and a tease of leg. I learned from Bob Mackie and Ret Turner, "give 'em just a little and leave 'em wanting more". That has always been the rule of every sexy symbol from Mae West to Beyonce.
10. Where can we find your collection?
Currently, my gowns are only strictly custom, made-to-order. http://marcellogeary.yolasite.com/