She styled Madonna during her “Like a Virgin” phase — remember those “Boy Toy” belts? — and worked as the art director at Fiorucci back when it was the mecca for street fashion. Now Maripol (who is “in her late 40s”) has compiled a book of Polaroids, aptly titled “Maripolarama,” that chronicles her nights hanging out all over New York at spots like the Mudd Club and Max’s Kansas City during the late Seventies and early Eighties. WWD recently caught up with the Paris-born stylist.
WWD: Tell me a little bit about how you got started.
Maripol: I came from France in 1976 and we never had anything from fashion we liked so I started to make clothing. Gucci and Chanel hadn’t been taken over yet by the big designers. They were for uptown ladies. It was really ugly fashion. Everything was very, very tacky. I had a little style and so people kept asking me “Are you a stylist? Are you a stylist?” Then finally one day I said, “You know what? F— this, I’m a stylist. Whatever.” And that’s how it happened.
WWD: And you worked at Fiorucci?
M.: Yes. I’d made this great pair of earrings and they asked me for 400 pairs. Then they sold out. Eventually, they made me the art director. We had parties all night long with Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. It was a great meeting point. Calvin Klein got his inspiration for the jeans from Fiorucci. At the time, there were no designer jeans.
WWD: Where were most of the photographs taken?
M.: A lot of them were taken at nightclubs. Sometimes it was while I was on a job. The shot of Madonna with the pink wig was taken in my loft, while she was trying on costumes for the first time she ever sang “Like a Virgin.” It was a performance at the anniversary party of the Paradise Garage. She did a big trial of the song with a bed on the stage, and I made a special outfit for her and she wore that wig.
This story first appeared in the December 20, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: Was that the night she got booed off the stage?
M.: No, that wasn’t at the Paradise Garage. That was at Camden in London.
WWD: Where were your favorite places to go out back then?
M.: I started with the Garage and Studio 54, The Mudd Club and Max’s Kansas City. There was a really obscure gay club that eventually became the Peppermint Lounge. It was called Gigi Knickerbocker. There were lots of fishnets.
WWD: Do you still go out?
M.: Not as much. I get allergic to cigarettes. I went dancing at Crobar the other day with Alba Clemente because Johnny Dynell was there, and he’s our favorite DJ. I do go to Happy Valley these days. It’s fun. You meet people you know. My favorite place is Beige at Bowery Bar. I live right next door, so it’s like my hangout. Better that than to go out with all the pack on Saturdays. And I don’t want to compete with my kid. He’s 16. He doesn’t want to see his mum at the clubs.