UnapologeticallyPaola : Interview with Mac Duggal

Unapologetically Paola

Republished with permission of Unapologetically Paula

fabulous-plus-size-prom-dress

I was first introduced to Mac Duggal when his first ever Plus Size “This Is Why I’m Fabulous” Campaign and model search was launched. The man behind the brand, Manmohan Duggal, is someone who is passionate about fashion and wants to innovate the prom market and break barriers with his designs catered to plus size women, “rather than simply upsizing a dress suited for a smaller frame.” The line will be available for sizes 14W-30W and will include hot prints, fully beaded, two piece, high slits and other on trend designs that other designers steer away from.

I had the opportunity to chat with Mac and speak more in-depth on what inspired him to create a line exclusively for plus size teens and women who often go unrepresented in the fashion industry, as well as what makes this campaign special.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your brand?

mac duggal head shot
My given name is Manmohan Duggal but my friends have always called me Mac. I was born in New Delhi, India in 1960.

About the Brand
The Mac Duggal brand is positioned at the high end of the women’s special occasion dress market and includes eleven different collections driven by Designer Mac Duggal’s artistic, modern and luxurious design with couture-inspired fit and sizing. Today, Mac presents a collection of classic designs curated with a youthful sophistication that both marks the moment and redefines tomorrow.

Mac Duggal opened the first design house just over 30 years ago in Chicago, Illinois. It is Mac Duggal’s one-of-a-kind styles, sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic and influential designs that have made them a staple in Couture wear spanning the globe in over 5 continents and 32 countries. From fashion editor to celebrity stylist, movie star to headline entertainer, pageant winner to prom queen – Mac Duggal’s designs are spotlighted, worn and coveted around the globe.

Mac Duggals first collection, Creative Creations, was a line of dazzling gowns blending Indian beauty and elegance with Western styling. Proud of his heritage, Mac Duggal has always designed using glorious fabrics and colors that are hot and spicy like the fashion and cuisine of his homeland. Today, Mac Duggal continues to provide fresh inspiration and set trends in silhouette, color, and designs.

Why did you choose fashion as your creative outlet?

It came from within; I just wanted to just go and create something on my own. I didn’t even know what I was going to create. I was just going to carve my own path and make my mark. I had this energy inside of me. I could work twenty-two hours and not even feel the need to sleep, get up, and do it all over again. I felt unstoppable. I was just going to do it. If I failed I was going to keep on going and create something new. I always knew I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and I could never resist the “smell” of rhinestones, sparkle and glitter.

What do you love most about being a designer?

I believe there are two dresses every woman in America remembers: her prom gown; and her wedding gown. In the last three decades, my gowns have contributed to these women’s unforgettable experiences. I am thrilled that thousands of people have made me a part of their important milestones. All during their lives, when they look back at pictures or reflect on those precious moments, Mac Duggal will be the one helping to put a smile on their faces.
What changes do you most want to see in the fashion industry?

Fashion is a fast changing industry. It changes before you can blink, and it keeps you on your toes. I needed to work with a lot of integrity and a clear vision. When we started, I was known for my embellishments, my flamboyant styles, and I have changed with the times. I always had a great love and passion for style all of my life. I get my inspiration from women themselves. Knowing your clientele is so important and if you love fashion as I do you can transform these beautiful women through fashion. I am inspired by the challenge of changing trends and keeping the designs fashion forward. From sleek and streamlined silhouettes to intricate drapings and body conscious shapes that garner attention to more jeweled, beaded, embroidered and embellished styles – each present an early indicator to the upcoming season’s trends with an exquisite attention to detail that are the hallmark of an authentic Mac Duggal design.

What exactly will be This Is Why I’m Fabulous and what inspired you to launch such a campaign?

Over the course of the last two years a revolution has emerged in the plus size market, however, this revolution has not reached the teen age market. We are launching this campaign [This Is Why I’m Fabulous] to find everyday, real plus size models; no matter height or size breaking the barriers of what a “true” plus size model should be in the fashion industry. Plus size is not a size 8 or 10 like so many of the plus size super models. We are looking for two or three models who can serve as ambassadors to the program.

blue floral mermaid plus size prom dressBlack floral plus size ball gownBurgundy Plus Size Prom Dress

Do you think you will receive criticism for promoting plus-sized fashion?

We must believe in ourselves and do everything through our heart. If we want to succeed we must focus on our passion and give it all we have. I believe some door or somebody’s door will open up somewhere and show us the light and guide us on our own beautiful path. From what I have seen, no two people in the world take the same journey. Remember everybody has this energy, just listen to it carefully. This voice will always guide you on the right path. I believe a loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice even if it is a whisper. Just relax, sit back, and let the journey unfold.

What do you think is the most special part about designing for plus size women?

I have found that more teen girls than ever are buying plus size gowns for prom. This comes from a teenage customers desire to be able to buy the same clothing as their friends, plus size or not. Today’s young consumers know what they want and won’t settle for less. Our customer wants to feel on trend. This may includes ruffles, off the shoulder tops and yes, even the crop top, which might surprise some plus size skeptics.
In my plus size collection “Fabulouss” we design to encourage self love. We are about body positivity. I love to hear that girls have come out of a retailer’s dressing room and start to cry because they finally have clothing that fits them and makes them feel good.

 

You can follow Mac Duggal on social media as @macduggal and see what’s new at www.macduggal.com. If you’re interested in becoming a positive and strong role models for young girls and apply to their camping, visit macduggalblog.com/this-is-why-im-fabulous. The submission deadline is January 27, 2017.

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How To Choose The Perfect Pageant Interview Dress

 

by Harleigh Hearts

Mark your calendars!  This year’s Miss USA pageant broadcast on June 5th signals the start of pageant season.  For as long as I can remember, watching the Miss USA pageant has been a tradition in my house.  I would look forward to watching all the contestants model their gorgeous evening gowns and swimsuits and answering questions on stage.

In addition to Miss USA, this summer, pageant systems across the country will be hosting their nationals, where just like the Miss USA pageant, delegates will be representing their states in a bid for the national titles.  While different pageant systems have different areas of competition, such as swimsuit, evening gown and talent, almost all pageant systems have an interview portion.

As a titleholder, you will make public appearances and are a representative of your system.  It is important to be able to make a good impression wherever you go, not only in how you dress but to feel comfortable speaking publically and conversing with people you have just met. That is why interview is a key part of a pageant.  Judges want to see your personality and your personal style.  That is why what you wear in the interview portion of the pageant is as important as your ability to show your personality.  In essence, it is similar to a job interview and you want to make a great impression. Whether you are competing in a local pageant, state pageant or national pageant, it is important to take your time choosing what you will wear to compete, not just your evening gown, but what you will wear for interview.

A pageant interview dress is always shorter in length, generally to the knee or just above.  A good tip to ensure that the dress is the correct length is to stand straight with your arms at your sides, the dress should be no shorter than the tip of your middle finger.  The dress should also fit well, nothing too tight, see through, strapless or overly beaded or embellished.  Remember, a pageant interview is similar to an interview for a job, so you don’t want to look like you are going to a party or a school dance, so you want to choose a dress that is a bit more conservative and modest in style, color, length and fit.

For Teens, it is important to remember to keep your interview dress age appropriate. Do not choose a dress that is too mature in style or color.  Lighter brighter youthful hues are a great way to go. A very popular style choice for teens for a pageant interview dress is one that has more of a full skirt.  Remember to keep the accessories conservative as well.  It’s perfectly fine to choose statement pieces, like a necklace for example, but choose pieces that compliment the dress rather than detract.

Here are some of my favorites:

For Miss contestants, an interview dress that is a little more form fitting is an excellent choice.  Choose a color that compliments your skin tone and hair color.  Make sure to choose a style that compliments your body type and avoid dresses that are too short or too tight.

I love the classic style and cut of this dress and the flower print is stunning.  The length is perfect for interview, falling just at the knee.

When it comes to choosing the interview dress for your pageant, you are sure to find the perfect dress in the After Five collection, which offers great choices for both Teen and Miss contestants.  A perfect blend of classy and elegant, the After Five collection will help you make a great impression during the interview phase of the pageant.

As a leading designer in the pageant industry, Mac Duggal is an expert when it comes to creating a winning wardrobe for pageant girls across the world.  From gorgeous show stopping evening gowns to classic elegant interview dresses, Mac Duggal designs are a perfect choice for interview and evening gown.

We wish you all good luck this pageant season and don’t forget to show us your pageant style, email your pageant pictures to: photos@macduggal.com or post them to Instagram with the hashtag #macduggal.

Chic and Cheerful: 6 Styles for Your Holiday Party

Whether you hear those sleigh bells ringing or not, we’re about to be decking the halls for a holiday party season. It’s a time we love because the dress code is loaded with opportunities to look chic and stylish. But the trick is to find that gorgeous Holiday look that nobody else will have. Looking for that something perfect to ring in the new year? Check! Desperately searching for that wow-factor dress to dance the night away? Mac’s got it.

We’ve rounded up 6 elegant, full proof and party approved holiday dresses to wear under the mistletoe. Try pairing any number of gorgeous chandelier earrings or glittering statement necklaces with a lovely holiday dress from Mac Duggal.

Mac Duggal Style 85387T

The White as Snow Dress

With the winter holiday in mind, one sure thing is everyone’s wish for snow. Whether you are having a white christmas or not, Mac Duggal Style 85387T is a brilliant ivory cocktail dress with sparkling silver embellishments. Channel your inner snow queen with an all over-lace design complete with long sleeves and revealed sheer illusion along the neckline. The back features a striking v-opening with trimmings of silver and glass-cut stones.  Sparkle beyond compare at a New Years party or chic holiday event.

Mac Duggal Style 82226M

 
 

Holiday Red

Just like those bright red bows on your holiday gifts, this sizzling red dress brings cheerfulness that goes beyond the season. Mac Duggal Style 82226M is a short red dress with pockets, perfect for keeping those holiday gifts a secret. The sheer neckline is embellished with crystals and rhinestones that fall along the lace bodice. With a flouncy red skirt and a one-of-a-kind style, this holiday dress will have you shinning from head to toe.

Mac Duggal Style 93504C
 
 

The Any Occasion Dress

As a high fashion style this season, Mac Duggal Style 93504C can be worn through the winter and into the spring. On point with the statement necklace trend, this will be a “no-accessory-required” dress as large stones are attached to the sheer neckline. The floral brocade fabric shines with gold threads intertwining. The form-fitting body slightly flares out at the knee to create a dress that will look fabulous no matter which season you wear it. Wear this short dress to your office holiday party and then save it for attending a spring wedding. It’s the dress that just keeps on giving.

Mac Duggal Style 82228R

Classic Black Dress Reinvented

For some holiday events, a longer evening gown style is necessary. Perfect for a formal affair, this black jersey dress features a plunging neckline and sheer illusion waistline. All along the sheer waistline, Mac Duggal Style 82228R is embellished with a swirling pattern of silver stones and beading. A high-leg slit is the perfect touch of high fashion on this all jersey dress with a sweep train in the back. Although the long black dress is our number one choice for an upscale Holiday party, this gown is also featured in a striking red hue that puts you in that festive spirit.

Mac Duggal Style 4042T

Sparkling Sequins

Now this is a New Years Eve dress! All eyes will be on you as you start the new years off right in a daring cocktail dress that is all about style. A plunging neckline is fantastically embellished with strategically placed sequins and beaded along the bodice. Keeping the winter season in mind, Mac Duggal Style 4042T features long sleeves that are embellished with a swirling pattern of sequins. Revealed sheer illusion looks absolutely breath-taking as you dance the night away in a New Years approved dress.

Mac Duggal Style 64920A

The Little Black Party Dress

For most of us, the little black dress is the perfect choice for so many holiday parties. Whether it’s to a family gathering or a Holiday office party, this adorable dress is perfectly modest with eye-catching embellishments. The neckline is decorated with gold and silver beading, inspired by the statement necklace trend. Mac Duggal Style 64920A also features a fun and flouncy skirt that keeps you in looking festive. Twist and twirl the night away as you rock a little black party dress that is fit for the holiday season!

Mac Duggal

Mac Duggal Style 78905D & 93522D

Mac Duggal’s Spring 2015 Collection Has Arrived

When it comes to Mac Duggal, there always seems to be a timelessness in his designs. Whether it’s a vintage-inspired lace or a classic silhouette, Mac Duggal dresses are the epitome of grace and elegance.

But when designing the new collection of 2015 Spring fashionsMac Duggal Style 93512C, he drew inspiration from changing trends and contemporary culture. Each Mac Duggal dress incorporates fabrics from all over the world to showcase the very best of embossed chiffons, colorful florals, and intricate back detailing.

From front to back, designs such as Mac Duggal Style 93512C features an elegance and sophisticated quality. Open backs with embellishments that trim the edges, this kind of attention to detail is what sets Mac Duggal apart from the rest.

Continuing his lifetime goal to transform beautiful women through fashion, each prom collection Mac Duggal Style 85434Mfeatures a variety of embellished patterns and wonderful spring hues.

The latest trend in prom is the two-piece dress or crop-top style. In a variety of forms, like simple jersey material and edgy leopard print skirts, two-piece dresses are a major style statement this year!

 Mac Duggal Prom, Ball Gowns, Flash, and Cassandra Stone is where you will find your perfect prom dress. And don’t forget about Mac Duggal’s plus-size prom dress line, Fabulouss!

But it wasn’t just the prom lines that were given a new look. Two new collections, After Five and Evenings, were also added this season. Mac Duggal Style 30007

Check out this gorgeous new style from After Five, Mac Duggal Style 30007. This two piece dress is perfect for spring with a two piece top and high-low skirt. The bow around the waistline looks absolutely darling.

These fresh new styles perfectly compliment the already existing Evening Collections of Twelve, Black White Red, and Couture.

Mac Duggal has also added new styles and designs to the two pageant crossover collection. Royalty, featuring prom court or pageant dresses, and Sugar, the little girls pageant line, are two standout collections for Spring 2015!

In every collection, Mac Duggal features a modern touch with artistic elegance. By creating silhouettes that are timeless and flattering, Mac Duggal delivers a wide-ranging spectrum of fashion and style that continues to set trends for the season.

Described as “the best Mac Duggal yet,” this 2015 Spring Collection truly inspires confidence and beauty in women.

Mac Duggal

Choosing the Right Hairstyle for Your Dress

From the moment you enter the store, you excitedly look through racks and racks of sequin dresses, red carpet gowns, and short cocktails. Happily you try on dress afterBehind the Scenes at the Mac Duggal Photo Shoot dress until you find the “one.” The dress that makes you feel like all eyes will be on you for your grand entrance. And as you stand there in front of the mirror, dress shimmering, you ask yourself, “should I wear my hair up or down?”

Choosing the right hairstyle can often bring out even more glamour and beauty. That is why the Mac Duggal styling team hosted a very special photo shoot with renowned hair stylist, Yadira Amador. Together we’ve picked the most popular styles of gowns to show you how to perfectly match the right hairstyle to your dress.

From high collar to sweetheart neckline, Mac Duggal has chosen these nine beautiful dresses to showcase the right hairstyle for your dress.

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No matter which dress is your must-have or which hairstyle is the latest trend, what is most important is to show off your own unique style. Putting it all together for that perfect look, gives you that undeniable confidence when all eyes are on you.


A special thank you to all our beautiful models who visited the Mac Duggal team: Francesca Reed, Miss Wisconsin US International 2014; Sylvia Leszanczuk, Miss Illinois Galaxy 2014;  Catherine Love, 2014 International Junior Miss Western Illinois;  Angel Reyes, Miss Teen Midwest Belleza Latina.

Click HERE for a behind the scenes look at the making of this photo shoot.

What to Expect from the Mac Duggal Fall 2014 Collection

The long awaited Mac Duggal Fall 2014 Collection launched on Friday, April 25th and has already been seen on red carpet events like the Vanity Fair Party and Latin Billboard Awards. It’s been receiving a huge amount of attention and we are so proud to share it with the world.

But what can you expect from the Mac Duggal Fall 2014 Collection? We break it down by collection and give you a sneak peek of what you can expect.

Unique Homecoming Dresses

Every Mac Duggal dress is perfectly designed to be unique and to stand out from the crowd. The Mac Duggal Homecoming Collection is no different. Of course, it still offers the glamour of Mac Duggal embellishments and detailing, but this year’s seasons goes beyond that.

From the ideal Barbie short dress, to little black dresses with extra embellishments, the 2014 Homecoming Collection is the perfect mix of short dresses. Of course, there is the classic homecoming dress with a soft chiffon skirt. But, there are also form-fitting dresses with sequined sheer illusion necklines. The Mac Duggal Homecoming Collection truly has a unique blend of styles and designs that are hard to forget.

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More Embellishments and Sophistication in the Royalty Collection

The previous Royalty Collection from last fall featured a lot of sparkles with delicate chiffon breakaway skirts. This Fall 2014 Royalty Collection features that same amount of sparkle, but on a more sophisticated style. Many of the Royalty gowns are long and are designed with a mermaid silhouette. Styles like 48188Y are the perfect example of this. This purple or black evening gown features a built-in-bling high collar neckline that sparkles with Swarosky rhinestones.

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A Short, Sexier, More Stylish Twelve Collection

If you are looking for a short and sparkling cocktail dress, then Mac Duggal’s updated Twelve Collection is absolutely perfect. So many short dresses from this collection have been featured on the red carpet and in major magazine publications. We are loving all the crystals and rhinestones that sparkle along the sheer illusion cutouts. Drawing from both a vintage inspired look and a modern design, the Twelve Collection is a hot new addition to the Mac Duggal system.

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More Color in the Black White Red Collection

The Black White Red Collection is no longer just about those colors. Oh no, this revamped Mac Duggal collection features colors like Peacock, Platinum, Emerald, and even Animal prints. The new Black White Red Collection has made a vast innovation of evening gowns that is unlike anything seen before. And the short cocktail dresses are marvelous!

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Exquisite Detailing on Every Couture Dress

Couture has easily been one of the favorite collections of the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Seasons. With so many unforgettable trends of previous seasons, Mac Duggal stuck with the same idea but added more color and runway ready deigns that are sure to impress from the Mac Duggal Couture Collection. The detailing is truly exquisite and sparkles on peplum dresses. We can expect to see more of these evening gowns on the red carpet.

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A Sugar Collection that Pops with Color and Sparkle

With a totally revamped Sugar Collection, it’s no wonder why our youngest models were so excited to see a variety of new colors that promise to sparkle on stage. These darling Sugar dresses feature a full skirt and detailing that runs throughout each gown. Some dresses are off the shoulder, some are halter, and then some of these dresses feature wide straps. However, each dress offers a distinct sense of style that is perfect for a sugar girl.

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So, what are your favorite collections of the Fall 2014 Season? Follow us on Facebook or Tweet us at @macduggal for the daily updates on the newest Mac Duggal Collection.

Mac Duggal

Black is the New Black

Mary Kate and Ashley wear it. Johnny Cash swore by it. And so many women head straight to the color black as their go to fashion. Any why not? With so many people swearing by the everlasting color of black, it’s no surprise that Black Prom Dresses are the current trend.

The interest in black prom dresses increased dramatically in 2014, according to our Mac Duggal Web Views and Sales. During the previous year, red was far and away the most popular color. There were twice as many views of red prom dress last year as there were of black ones. In 2013, there were 50,886 views of red prom dress and only 20,836 views of black prom dress. This year though, black caught up with red as the most popular color. The web view results of 2014 showed that there were 70,647 views of red prom dresses and 70,397 views for black prom dresses. The number of shoppers looking at black prom dresses doubled this year and was essentially equal to that of red. And sales increased in line with this increase in interest. Our best selling prom dress, as well as 3 out of our top ten, were black prom dresses.

Does that suggest that black may be the top selling prom dress color in 2014-2015? Well, we will have to wait and see, but if this year’s upward trend continues into next year, it is well within the realm of possibilities.

From head-to-toe black is the easiest, chicest way to look runway ready. . . and it’s actually cool to wear. The little black dress has been making a style statement for years, but now black prom dresses are starting to make a serious mark on the way we look at prom.

Why We Love Black Prom Dresses. . .

It Flatters Every Skin Tone & Figure Friendly.

Mac Duggal Style 82019M - Black Prom Dress

Mac Duggal Style 82019M will flatter every skin tone and gives you that fabulous hourglass silhouette.

 

You Can Go Wild With Accessories.

Mac Duggal Style 48134R - Black Prom Dress

You can dress this fabulous high-low black prom dress up with a variety of accessories.

 

It works for every season.

Mac Duggal Style 1903M - Black Prom Dress

Spring, summer, fall, and winter, Mac Duggal Style 1903M is perfect for every season’s special occasion.

 

It always looks dressed up.

Mac Duggal Style 64632M - Black Prom Dress

Although simply embellished along the neckline, Mac Duggal Style 64632M is a beautiful dress that will dress up every moment.

 

It never goes out of style.

Mac Duggal Style 82066M - Black Prom Dress

From the highly embellished lace neckline to the taffeta long skirt, Mac Duggal Style 82066M is sure to last throughout the years.

 

So what do you think? Will black prom dresses be the next big trend of Prom 2015?

Mac Duggal