Fashion Files - Mackenzie Fitzgerald

Fashion Files - Mackenzie Fitzgerald

Row 431, Column 3 - color, pink.


I’m updating the color codes to my collection catalog in excel, a program I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid, but that suddenly became pertinent once my fashion collection grew to over 600 pieces.


Hi, I’m Mack Fitzgerald, I’m a writer and a fashion fan girl. And for practicality sake (read: insurance), I need to keep track of my clothing in a more serious way than inside my head.


I’ve been fan-girling over fashion for as long as I can remember, but I consider the start of my collecting to be when I was 14 years old; That’s when I learned how to use eBay. My first big eBay buy was a 1950s band jacket with gold piping and big, silver bobble buttons. I still have the jacket today, 16 years after my winning bid.



Since then, I’ve been consuming in a thoughtful, edited, and pragmatic way because when you’re collecting, you’re in it for the long haul. It’s a slow, slow build.


If you’re lucky, sometimes pieces find you, like the time my boss gifted me a pair of A Bathing Ape x Kanye West College Dropout sneakers from 2007 when I was in college. Row 6, Column 3 - color, multi.


Other times you find pieces by searching hashtags and politely, but incessantly begging a stylish woman in the UK to sell you her 1970s Halston one-shoulder dress she’d been storing for over a decade. Row 97, Column 3 - color, off-white.


But mostly, it’s about consistency. You search every single platform, every single day for over ten years to find a pink and yellow guipure lace dress from the Marc Jacobs Resort 2011 collection. Row 232, Column 3 - color, multi floral.



My excel sheet covers off on size, style, season and year, but it is organized alphabetically by designer.


My first fashion love was Miuccia Prada, and I don’t discriminate between the coquettish Miu Miu or cerebral Prada. Both labels have homes in my closet. I got my first Miu Miu piece, a pair of satin daisy-print wooden clogs from the S/S 2010 collection, when I was in college. I worked the entire summer, saving up from my waitressing job. By the time I could afford them ($890), they had dropped down into clearance price ($238). Lucky me! When they arrived at my doorstep in Iowa, my Dad saw the box and said, “What’s this from Neiman Marcus? We don’t shop at Neiman Marcus!”



Not all items are new-new, though. In fact, most are secondhand. What can I say? I like to buy things that other people owned first. And my most worn and practical in my collection is Phoebe Philo’s Céline. I’ll be the first to tell you she’s one of, if not the most, influential womenswear designer of the 21st century. It is difficult to overstate her impact on fashion; She completely shook the industry, resulting in a total style recalibration for women across the globe, and brands followed suit.



Then, of course, there is my newest fashion love: Christopher John Rogers. He makes the ordinary extraordinary, and it goes beyond the fantastic use of color. It’s the shapes. The combination of materials. The inspiration. Who else can design a ball gown inspired by a trash bag, a skirt modeled after crumpled paper balls, or a suit based on a traffic cone?



Whether I’m searching for something new to earth or just new to me, the process of looking is almost as good as acquiring.


For me, collecting is about the thrill of the hunt, the magic of the people you meet, and memories stored in the clothing. It’s about falling in love with fashion over-and-over again, every time you get dressed.


Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action  Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action 
Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action