As summer comes to a close, Hollywood turns its attention to the impending Awards Season! A time when every A-lister must find the perfect dress to don as they walk down the red carpet to a flutter of camera flashes. Who do you turn to for a coveted gown? Designer Dalia MacPhee.
Dalia MacPhee, a Canadian designer who splits her time in Los Angeles, has been designing the best of the red carpet for over 15 years. She is now among the most sought after designers in Hollywood, having dressed celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Heidi Klum, Amy Poehler, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Olivia Munn, Hilary Duff, Amber Riley, Nina Dobrev, Niecy Nash, Alyssa Milano, Serena Williams, Gina Rodriguez, Khloe Kardashian, and the stars of The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, Dancing with the Stars, and Glee, to name a few. Her brand is carried in high end department stores and boutiques across the country including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Better Boutiques.
We sat down with Dalia to discuss her career and the trends she sees for the upcoming season.
PPLA: When did you first know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion design?
Dalia: My first or second year of college, I got the bug. I was studying pre-law, and everyone in class would look at me funny because I would always waltz in wearing these extravagant dresses. I think that’s when I realized fashion was in my blood and I should combine my love of creating with my love of business.
PPLA: What were the biggest challenges in breaking into the red carpet fashion world? Who are some of the biggest celebrities you have dressed and who is the dream talent you’d love to dress?
Dalia: I’ve been very fortunate in that the line has always been well received in Hollywood. Some of the many talent I’ve been fortunate to dress, include Olivia Munn, Heidi Klum, Scarlet Johansson, Audrina Patridge, Nina Dobrev, Amber Riley, Julianne Hough, Brooke Burke, Serena Williams and many more. There’s a long list of dream talent I would absolutely love to dress, but if I had to pick one, it would be Oprah. Are you listening Oprah? Are you Listening?? YOU Get a Dress, YOU get a Dress and YOU get a Dress!! 😉
PPLA: Can you share a memory or point in your career where you knew you were on the right path or conversely wanted to give up but didn’t. What kept you going?
Dalia: Anytime I see a woman light up from putting on one of my pieces, I know I’m on the right path, because this is what Fashion really is about: Making People Feel Good. Apparel is an extremely tough, cut throat businesses, so suffice to say I’ve had many moments where I’ve been tested. Sheer drive, determination, and two key things have kept me going. One, is that I learned I would need to attach a bigger purpose to this business in order to be motivated. So I made it a mission to get involved with causes near and dear to my heart to help facilitate change and awareness through my brand. The second, is a lesson of strength I actually learned from my Muay Thai trainer years ago. One day while fight training, he told me a story of the mango tree and the bamboo tree. The wind came to take both trees down. It blew its hardest. The mango tree stood fast. It would not yield. It knew it was strong and sturdy. It would not sway. It was too proud. It was too sure of itself. But finally its roots gave way, and it tumbled down. The bamboo tree was wiser. It knew it was not as robust as the mango tree. And so every time the wind blew, it bent its head gracefully. It made loud protests, but it let the winds have its way. When finally the wind got tired of blowing, the bamboo tree still stood in all its beauty and grace. When things get tough, you have to be like the bamboo tree.
PPLA: Your dresses are perfect for galas and special occasions, do you think you will ever branch into other styles or casual wear?
Dalia: I’m launching a ready to wear line next season!!
PPLA: We can’t wait to see it! You also have an equestrian line which is so different from your other work. Tell us how that came about? What inspired your love of horses?
Dalia: I have been riding since I was a little girl and still now ride and compete, it’s my first love in life and it just seemed time to merge what I do with what I love.
The equestrian world is also for the first time really starting to embrace fashion so I felt the timing was right.
PPLA: How important is charity to you and your brand? Your line is 95% vegan and supports several animal causes, tell us about that decision.
Dalia: My Dream , is that every time a woman is wearing one of my pieces, a less fortunate woman somewhere else in the world is being helped.
I also have a huge love of all animals and so it was important to me to get involved where I could.
First thing that comes to your mind:
FAV restaurant in LA:
Just one? I’m a foodie—how about 1 for each day of the week?
Friday : Café Stella
FAV thing to do on the weekend: Riding my horse!
FAV movie/song/ or book right now: Breakfast at Tiffany’s/A kiss to Build a Dream on/The Alchemist
Go to travel item: My favorite pillow.
Any superstitions or thing you need when you are designing? I never use the number 4 in any of my style numbers.
Anything else you want your fans to know about you? Usually When I meet someone for the first time they’re very concerned about what they are wearing, that I might judge them somehow because of what I do. Ironically, as much as I love fashion, it’s the very last thing I use to judge a person!
To check out Dalia’s designs visit www.daliamacphee.com