Sunday, April 11, 2010

Okay, It's Time For The Meryl Story

I will be terribly discreet, but so many people have asked me to elaborate on how it happened, I will share with you what has turned out to be a fairytale come true in my life. No pun intended. I had the incredible opportunity to work with the one and only Meryl Streep, and create these two dresses for her, the first for the Golden Globes, the second (gulp!) for the Academy Awards. I have been friends with her right arm and make-up/hair stylist (who has been with her for 35 years or so. Where she goes, he goes.) Roy Helland since I moved to New York about 9 years ago. Roy told me that during season 4 of "Project Runway" the cast of the movie they were working on, "Doubt", were big fans of the show, and Meryl was a big fan of mine. She and her two daughters (also big "PR" fans) came to my finale show at Bryant Park as my guests, and I received a phone call from her the next day....

"Chris?....Hi, it's Meryl!" Four words I will never forget. Meryl? Meryl Streep? My heart lept into my throat, and luckily she had a lot to say about the show so I didn't have to talk much. As if I could have. She told me how much she loved it and called me a "creative genius". I don't remember the rest of the conversation, as I had died and gone to heaven. I stumbled to say goodbye, and all I remember is hanging up and sitting on my couch without moving until the sun went down. Stupified.

Fast forward to last December, when the Golden Globe nominations came out (she was actually nominated TWICE in the same category) and Roy gave me a buzz and asked if I could come over to his house on Monday afternoon. I asked, and he gave no reason....and then he had to tell me because he knew I would faint if it remained a surprise. Meryl wanted to meet with me and discuss the possibility of making her a dress to wear at the Golden Globes. I must have turned purple, said yes, and was in a dream state for a couple of days. We met, and she is the sweetest, warmest, smartest, most normal lovely person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She wrapped her arms around me and said, "What a thrill to meet you!" Me? Meet me? I have my arms around the greatest actress of all time and she is thrilled to meet me? Like I said, an absolute fairytale. We discussed the dress, I came up with an idea that she loved, and after about five fittings, the dress is perfect and I end up just hanging out with her choosing jewelry, shoes and bags before her trip to Hollywood. Fairy. Tale. Afterwards, she brought me the most beautiful bouquet of white flowers (pictured above)...yes, she actually drove them over to my house. That's what kind of person she is.

Then, after all the hoopla over the black dress, she contacted me about the Academy Awards, and I was REALLY reeling. The Super Bowl of World Fashion. Me, dressing Meryl effing Streep. Like we're pals. Certainly, some Fairy Godmother sprinkled magic dust in my Wheaties. The dress was discussed, we came up with a plan, and several fittings later, voila....She is all over the "Best Dressed" lists. Being gay, I never hit a home run. Until that night. I will never forget it as long as I live. Meryl Streep uttered the words, "Chris March made my dress..." on the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards. In front of millions (billions?) of people. I was thrilled, humbled, proud, teary-eyed and grateful to receive such an incredible moment in my life.

28 comments:

  1. Wow Chris, I remember the day of the Academy Awards, and actually the moment when she is asked about the dress.

    At the moment she said Chris March, I turned my head to the tv and stared at her, and honestly I thought about how you'd feel… Kudos to you!!

    Hopefully someday I can do as great as you do, I'm a graphic designer, and well, art is our thing…

    kisses to you Chris, and my best wishes!!

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  2. U rock. I know you and stuff... xoxo TOLD YOU you would rock out Project Runway...

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  3. i have never seen ms. streep look so beautiful and radiant on the red carpet as she did in your dresses. i hope this is not your last collaboration with her.

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  4. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

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  5. How awesome for you1 congrats and may this lead to bigger and better things.

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  6. what an amazing story... and you're so talented that it's not just luck. i mean, she looked laid back and elegant in your dresses ~ dresses which, i might add, would look great on lots of body types hint hint. ;) it also says a lot about both you and christian that of all the really talented PR alums, you two are the only ones who seem to have kept the high level of momentum going. hopefully this will lead to even bigger, better, and more teary-eyed moments to come! ^_^

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  7. We're all humans, we all live here together.
    It's fun to meet a celeb. And now you're one too! I'm jumping up and down inside reading. It's all about the moments and those were some GREAT moments! I'm very happy for you and that you shared it with us. Thank you! Very Exciting! Oh and - I met Linda Lavin, had the nicest conversation with her and in the end I said "I know you from somewhere, where do I know you from?" LOL We're all the same...really we are.

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  8. That is such an amazing story. Ms Streep looked GLORIOUS at both award shows. I know I was happy to see you go so far as you appear to be a genuinely kind and gentle soul who really loves fashion.

    Can't wait to see what's next.

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  9. Honey, you're a star now too, doncha' know? I woulda peed my depends if either one of you had called me! I just about DIED when I got your book, and saw you'd autographed it personally to me!

    I did love Meryl's red carpet looks this season, even before I knew you were the designer. I just have one question... what was the fabric for both dresses? It looks the same in both gowns, and kinda heavy/drapey, and very matte... almost plush.

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  10. She looked wonderful both times! What a great opportunity it was for you.

    Remember though as Fairy Tale as it seem it wouldn't have happened if you weren't as talented as you are.

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  11. This just proves that fairy tales happen to those that deserve them.

    You earned this moment and you thrived in it :)

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  12. Thanks for confirming two things that I've known all along:
    You are an amazing deisgner.
    Meryl Streep is fabulous!

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  13. Just confirming what we, the rabid fans, knew all along. If I ever need to become a diva I'm calling you.

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  14. Both dresses were wonderful. Certainly you will become her designer of choice from now on. Just like Hepburn and Givenchy.

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  15. When Ms. Streep mentioned your name on the red carpet, I got teary. I was sooo happy for you. I'm a fan, being a designer in the Bay Area.

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  16. Thank you Chris for sharing that story with us .. brought tears to my eyes as I can imagine how you felt. Both dresses were divine and you should be so proud ! Had occasion to meet her briefly and she is by far, the coolest effen woman on the planet. Kudos to you Chris - you rock !

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  17. Hi Chris -

    I've been a big fan since the "There's gonna be some hair on that runway" season of Project Runway. Love your creativity and am really glad this all happened for you. Good for you!

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  18. Congrats Chris, Finally someone has figured out how to dress Meryl Streep so that she doesn't either look like a hippie or an old lady. She is beautiful but what she wears does not always showcase that beauty. Hopefully, you will have a longterm relationship with her just like Roy.

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  19. Cavalli told you that you were a great talent, and I believed it!!! It sounds like you didn't!! LOL!!!

    Good for you!! You deserve all the good the universe sends your way! You made her look fabulous, because you are gifted and obviously care about what you do. Kudos. I hope you get to dress her for many years to come. And others, too, obviously!!!

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  20. I love the image of the parched nuns of "Doubt" sitting around watching Project Runway!

    I am so thrilled for you, Chris. Bless you always!

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  21. Your story brought tears to my eyes! So lovely for you. What an amazing accomplishment. Good for you!!!!

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  22. Lovely story from a lovely person about a lovely person. She looked wonderful, so much so in fact, I thought to myself, what happened, since some of her many red carpet appearances have not always been as sucessful. I was thrilled when I found out. Couldn't happen to a nicer, more talented designer!

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  23. Awwww. Too sweet! Great, great story. This is why you should have been fan favorite!

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  24. you hit a home run for sure! thanks for sharing such a great moment (moments?) with your adoring fans... xoxo

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  25. Chris, that's such an awesome story. How could she not be so warm and wonderful? I'm so happy for you and all your success!

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  26. First of all: Congratulations on both dresses! They were just amazing, especially the one form Oscars!
    In the first scene of the movie It's complicated she's wearing white clothes, and I remember that I thought "God, she looks fabulous in that colour, I wish she could wear it on Oscars", and then she was in that white glow! Deff a color for her! and I can imagine how you must have felt, when she came into room, can't say I'm not jelous a little ;). Anyway, congratulations, and I'm so happy that there are yet another person who has been enriched by her wonderful warmth and character. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. that's all well and good...but do i really need to win an oscar before i get my own creation? HARUMPH!!...next time you see her, tell her i said hello....cheers!!

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