A conversation with Erin Mahoney (Part 2)

6. Your idea of great style.

My idea of great style is whatever makes the wearer shine.  After watching people try on tons of clothes, it’s clear when they are in something they feel good about.  Their posture changes and they radiate.  It’s fascinating how powerful clothing can be.

Whatever evokes this inner hero is what is the best style choice.  The outfit that makes us feel like our best self is key. Having good posture, calm, confidence and grace in ANY outfit is stunning.

7. Who puts you in a creative mood?

Wes Anderson movies!   Artists of all sorts inspire me, patterns in NATURE, design of objects like architecture and tools for everyday.  Old Hollywood.Exposure to diversity offers a broader vocabulary, ultimately dynamic with styling choices and expression.

8. What is something about you that no one would guess?

As a gift to the viewer it’s my duty to make it look easy.  No one would guess how much focus and effort goes behind each burst of parade for showtime.  It’s really enormous work to get everything in its place.   The ultimate reward is a spark of connection for both sides: the audience and the performer. A lot of toil goes on back stage to make things look smooth and effortless.  Don’t be fooled!  It all starts with a pile of material and notions with one dimensional personality and then transformed into something that evokes a style, a stereo type or mood.

True fashion is like the life of a a rockstar- LOOKS LIKE A PARTY!  -but behind the scenes is all green smoothies, getting beauty rest and disciplined personal trainer. In other words- the art of fashion is theatre. To keep on track, I am working towards my goals pretty much everyday.  It’s enormous energy To bring all the things together to manifest the vision. 

Most of the costumes I make are just raw Materials when I start with them.  Like a pile of ribbon and yards of satin.  It’s made up all along the way, a lot is improvised/ making it work. The whole process of inspiration, design, engineering, gathering materials, fit, packability, assembly and exhibition is done by me.  It’s a labor of love.  I put my whole heart and soul into dressing up.

9. Favorite indulgence.

Luxury chocolate covered Carmel ice cream sandwich that comes with 3 to a box.  I can eat 2 at a time. Getting to do this game show for classic movie night at the historic and beautiful Paramount Theatre is a way I live my dream. It’s something I always look forward to.  

It feels decadent to be one of the stars and have my own place at this grand movie palace. I enjoy to be reliably stylish for the audience, to guide them through the show.  I eat up the attention.  It’s an honor.   I kind of feel a little bit like I am a wizard up there and my arms are magic wands.  Where ever I point, the audiences’ attention goes in that direction.  It’s so fun!  I especially look forward to the spontaneous improve part of it, when we break out into dance or spice it up by doing something off routine.   

Dressing up in some style that loosely connects to the movie is delightful too. For example a mohawk for “road warrior” or emerald green gown for “wizard of oz”.  We just did “wonka and the chocolate factory”, and of course It was all about the chocolate gown.  Pour it in me!! Actually, I was bursting at the seams this time and had to sew myself into it.

10. Most annoying habit.

My husband would answer clutter is terrible but I have learned to rise up from the ashes and chaos! I kind of hold on to too many materials thinking they will be useful in some way eventually.  I can see potential them and I feel some responsibility to be efficient.   Being emotionally attached to objects/ clothing/ accessories is kind of embarrassing.  Once they are here, I never want them to go, but I know I need to make space for new things.

Really, my biggest downfall is- what seems to freak people out the most- is speaking frankly.   Of course, I try to be kind and polite, but I have an uncanny ability to speak honestly and not everyone appreciates the efficiency of getting Straight to the point. Good news is: occasionally someone compliments, “always know where I  stand with you.” I want to put others at ease around me.  My view is that being direct, clear and swift is most respectful because it saves time and is honest, efficient even. It might come off as harsh sometimes....or memorable.  I just can’t help it. Good news is you “always know where you stand” with me!

11.  How would you like to be remembered?

JOYFULLY! Hopefully others see my creative ideas and it inspires them in some way.  It’s worth it to just  try to make a dream turn into reality.   It’s a pleasure to connect people, bringing together like minds, love and community, making a difference for others is important for me.

It used to be that going around the party to say good bye to each person was the right thing to do, but now discreetly slipping out while others continue to enjoy is the most elegant choice for me.  The show must go on!


Always a pleasure. Thank you Erin.

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