Place of birth: Sacramento, CA
Current City: New York NY
Favorite Fashion Designer: Alexander McQueen, Byron Lars
Favorite Authors: Anne Rice, David Sedaris
Favorite TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite Film: Dangerous Liaisons
Website: The Courtesan Macabre
Dark Eye Glances: What first compelled you to start blogging about fashion?
Mariana Leung: Blogging can be a big commitment in terms of time and creative output.
My background has always been in fashion design and apparel production. I had worked in corporate for a number of years and wanted a new creative outlet. I had always enjoyed writing, so blogging about
Fashion was a natural progression of that.
DEG: Do you have any background in fashion yourself, as a model or something else?
ML: I attended Parsons School of Design in New York and Paris. From there, I had designed lingerie, beading and embroidery for houses like Balmain, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta to name a few.
“One of the highlights of my blogging career was an interview I did with Oscar-winning costume designer
Colleen Atwood before the premiere of Snow White
& the Huntsman.”
DEG: What have been some of your most interesting blogging experiences so far? Have you ever had feedback from designers or models about something you’ve written?
ML: Blogging has allowed me to attend some fantastic events and interview the most amazing people. One of the highlights of my blogging career was an interview I did with Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood before the premiere of Snow White & the Huntsman.
DEG: In terms of “dark glamour”, what are some of the most interesting trends happening today? And how would you personally define the aesthetic of “dark glamour”?
ML: Dark glamour can incorporate several aesthetics. The most obvious is the use of black and dark colors. Dark glamour also implies a certain romantic look as well, with some historical references. Corset styling, delicate fabrics such as lace and tulle, modernized Victorian silhouettes all find their way into what fans call “Gothic style”.
DEG: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges or changes ahead for alternative fashion designers and their work?
ML: It has always been very tough for independent designers with a unique voice. With the economic climate, the fashion industry at large is less willing to take risks and retail buyers tend to return to styles and brands they have a track record with. Even successful designers find that they need to produce basic clothes they know will sell just to subsidize the few styles they truly believe in.
ML: For independent designers, they know they can’t compete on price; they just have to stay true to their vision and have patience while they build their following.
DEG: Who has been your own biggest influence so far in terms of fashion blogging? Who do you follow religiously?
ML: The writers and journalists that have influenced me have been Jeanne Becker of Fashion Television in the 1990’s and now, Bridget Foley of WWD. As a blogger, I find the site HeartIFB tremendously helpful on all aspects of growing your blog.
DEG: What’s next for you? What new ventures or projects do you have ahead? (or which do you WISH you had ahead?)
ML: I am excited about some of the fashion features of my independent bridal and evening collection being featured in some magazine shoots in the Fall. (my collection is http://www.wengmeng.com).
I have just been hired to be the director of fashion and digital marketing for luxury resale marketplace, http://www.HelloLaMode.com. I am very excited about this venture as it incorporates my love of designer fashion, blogging and social marketing into one amazing position.
DEG: Anything else you’d like to share/expose/elaborate on for our readers?
ML: Stay true to your style and keep reading!