In a few short days the Haute Couture will begin and what better way to recognize the event than to have you meet one of the most iconic and enduring personalities of the world of fashion. The name is China Machado (pronounced cheena) and the face is as unforgettable as the human being that inhabits a body that broke boundaries and outlasted and out classed so many of her colleagues and mentors.
This writer is humbled by her presence and enamored with a woman who has more life and zest in her than most 20 year olds. She has been indelibly etched in my fashion consciousness for as long as I can remember and quite simply one of the classiest women I have ever run across during my decades in this business. Her resume reads like a who’s who of fashion and yet she says “I am a simple person.”
Well, her modesty and humility betray her body of work as how many can say they worked with Avedon whom she is inextricably linked to, Weber, Sokolsky, Vogue, Bazaar, Balenciaga, Givenchy and probably every great designer and photographer of the 20th century. How many would say that they still smoke and drink and eat what they want? She has achieved more in one life than any 10 people you may know in fashion.
She is a 21st century woman who has seen so much and done so much as to boggle one’s mind; I would say she has done and seen it all but alas “it aint over yet!” Honestly, to me, she is just entering into this new chapter of a life that leaves even the most jaded with mouth agape!
I am forever honored, humbled and awed to introduce you to China Machado and it is here that I want to thank her for having been forever in my mind and probably a driving force behind my life in fashion …
1-What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
1958 Balenciaga dark green lace dress and a navy satin James Galanos evening dress
2-What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
Loyalty and kindness
3-What is your bliss?
Loving sexual relationship
4-What is your guilty secret?
5-Where is your ideal home?
Where I live right now
6-If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc:, what would you be
I have been a designer and a retailer, I enjoyed them both but i always challenge myself to change not to be bored.
7-What is on your bedside table right now?
Cigarettes, chocolates, book of the moment and tissue
8-What do you wear to bed?
Depends on with whom.
9-What if any, book are you reading now or last read?
10-What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Never do what you do not like.
11-Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
12-What is the best advice you ever received?
From Avedon: Only do what you do best but be curious.
13-In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
14-If you were a retailer, would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store? or where would you shop?
My own designs otherwise who would believe they were any good.
15-If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
Let it happen first then I will tell you.
16-If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
I want to have a good time so most probably Porfirio Rubirosa, Orson Wells, Kay Thompson and Stanley Donen. All of whom I have met.
17-What is your favorite movie /or movie star?
18-What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
Impossible to say one thing.
19-Whose opinion do you value most and why?
Both of my daughters
20-What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear?
I do not really shop. Most of my clothes I make. I dress simply.
21-What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
It depends on how much time I have.
22-Do you have a dream collaborator?
23-What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
Most people will say breaking the race barrier in 1958
24-What’s your music library like?
I like South American music because it makes me happy and the musicality of Jazz.
25-What and where is your favorite meal?
I cook the food of Macau, my roots and soul food.