Meredith Alex

Q+A- October 2010
Photograph by Zack Bowen


What is the Madgirl World?
It’s a world that combines color, whimsy, design, fashion, sculpture, and lots of love.

What’s your latest fashion accomplishment?
I recently finished a wedding dress for Rachel Weinstein, the fiancée of Justin Alfond [Maine state senator]. It was a custom dress made from her mother’s original wedding dress. The fabric was forty-one years old and very delicate, and we turned one dress into a very cool, custom dress with five pieces. It has a jacket, a party dress, a ceremony skirt, a crinoline skirt, and a beaded waistband, and it has all of the qualities that Rachel inspires along with the heirloom beauty of the original piece.

From here or away?
From here. I grew up on a 260-acre farm on the midcoast. I used to play a lot of dress-up and build fairy houses in the woods. It was a magical place.

Martini or margarita?
I’m a margarita girl, definitely. The mixture
of sweet and salty—gotta love it.

What’s the big dream for Madgirl?
Well, to inspire people, to help them bring more fun, joy, and color into their lives.

Where do you find inspiration?
I tend to find inspiration everywhere I go. From a three-year-old who comes up to count the bracelets on my wrist to the older woman who puts on a pair of my MadMuffs and smiles from ear to ear because she’s wearing something fun that makes her feel different.

Is fashion becoming too safe?
I would say that mainstream fashion is. That said, we live in an exciting time with designers and celebrities pushing the envelope. Look at Lady GaGa and Project Runway—both demonstrate so many ways to push envelopes. I think the fashion leaders are doing some very exciting things. A lot of what I do is not really safe. Like I sell party blazers that are vintage and that I bling-out with vintage ties and fabrics.

Who’s your favorite designer, besides you?
Betsey Johnson has been a big inspiration, as anyone who comes into my shop will see. And then there’s Iris Apfel—she’s amazing.

Sushi or steak?

Do you believe in the fountain of youth?
Yes…and it was center stage at Nateva.

Complete this statement: Age is…
…a spark that isn’t really defined from the outside—it’s on the inside. It’s a feeling. Think of it like this: you have control of your lighter…if you keep it full of fuel and your thumb on the button, your flame will burn bright. Your age will be timeless and you’ll continue to shine until it’s time to let go of the button.

What’s the thrill that will hit you?
When I get my picture on the cover of Rolling Stone, baby!

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