Mary McFadden, frequently referred to as a “design archeologist,” is one of America’s most celebrated haute couture designers. Her creations were worn by celebrities including Jacqueline Onassis, Barbara Walters, and Faye Dunaway.
For McFadden, jewelry is an integral part of the entire design of a dress, “jewelry is to beautify a woman. But it should also be an objet d’art.” She created cuffs, necklaces and earrings that were independently conceived but coordinated with the themes of her couture collections.
Mary McFadden was the director of public relations for Dior New York in the 1960s.
From 1968 to 1970 she was an editor for South African Vogue.
In 1976 she began the clothing company Mary McFadden Inc.
She won her first Coty Award in 1976 and entered the Coty Hall of Fame in 1979.
From 1982 to 1983 she was the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The CFDA Fashion Awards, was founded in 1980 with the first awards in 1981, which honors excellence in fashion design. It has been called "the Oscars of fashion".
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including: a Lifetime Achievement Award during Fashion Week of the Americas, the Neiman Marcus Award of Excellence, and the President’s Fellow Award from Rhode Island School of Design. She was also inducted into the Best-Dressed Hall of Fame. McFadden was also awarded the first Living Landmark Award by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
In 2012 she and Murray Gell-Mann published the book Mary McFadden: A Lifetime of Design, Collecting, and Adventure - Rizzoli International Publications.
This signed gold tone brooch with a filigree stylized wisteria bloom measures 4 inches long by 1 inch at its widest point.
Marked with a copyright symbol and full signature, Mary McFadden, on the underside.
Excellent vintage condition.