David Meister: Fashion’s Evening Star

Hollywood A-Listers love David Meister's classically simple evening wear.

For years, Meister’s designs have graced the curves of high-profile stars such as Diane Lane, Katherine Heigl, Sofia Vergara, Felicity Huffman, Tina Fey, Demi Lovato, Viola Davis, Drew Barrymore and Sharon Stone.

After earning a degree in fashion design, Meister moved to New York and joined bodywear pioneer Danskin, where he taught himself to use stretch fabrics to embellish the feminine form.

In 1998, Meister premiered his evening wear collection, adding daytime dresses in 2000. In 2009, the David Meister Signature Collection was made available exclusively through Bergdorf Goodman. Today, his dresses and gowns can be found in fine boutiques as well as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

He has been featured on E!’s Fashion Police, Access Hollywood, Today and the Style Network. Meister took a break from his fast-paced schedule to speak with New Jersey Monthly.

What first piqued your interest in fashion? As a kid, I was Cher obsessed. She was so cool, and I had never seen anyone like her. I credit her designer, Bob Mackie, for inspiring my interest in evening wear and all things glamorous.

What are the pros and cons of designing red-carpet gowns?

The most challenging aspect is the timing. Many actresses don’t decide which dress to wear until days, even hours, before the live show. The fun part is designing for one person because you can go for major drama and push the envelope. A red-carpet celebrity is the center of attention, so I play up her best assets to make her look fabulous and feel comfortable. Sometimes the struggle is convincing a star what to show and what not to show. (Usually the ones who should show off their bodies don’t, and those who shouldn’t want to.)

After designing so many little black dresses, how do you manage to keep the LBD interesting?

To reinvent a simple black gown, I consider what I’ve done and identify elements clients have liked. That could be new fabric, different seaming or an innovative neckline. I always keep it fresh.

What are the hottest looks for this spring?

Lace in bright hues, black-and-white graphic prints, texture combinations. The popular one-shoulder look is here to stay because women like it—they can feel bare and sexy, but anchored and secure.

Watch the 85th Academy Awards telecast on ABC February 24 and you just might see David Meister originals on some award winners.


Celebrity Red-Carpet Picks

Funny Tina Fey of NBC’s 30 Rock dolled up at the Emmy Awards in this eggplant strapless, fitted gown with trumpet skirt.

Viola Davis, renowned for her role in The Help, shined in Meister’s sunny one-shoulder creation at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Actress Diane Lane was resplendent in this curve-flattering scarlet halter gown at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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