Meet John Mahdessian, mastermind behind NYC’s go-to resource for repairing and restoring all luxury garments, interior textiles and furnishings: Madame Paulette. Well…if you’ve ever had a luxury garment in dire need of some TLC, you’ve probably already met him. It’s no secret that the renowned couture cleaner has a hand in the preservation of the world’s most valuable garments, providing the most spectacular service to A-List clients and famous museums. Believe us…no jewel or button will be out of place by the time this company is through with even the most damaged items.
“We have an emergency Fashion Mobile Unit fully equipped to spot clean and tailor any items within minutes of receiving the problem piece.”
You’ve worked with some of the best in couture and ready-to-wear like Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Fendi, Alexander Wang and Yves Saint Laurent. Why do you think these designers trust you? What makes your business stand out?
We uphold the highest standards as leaders and pioneers in our field, and we’ve developed methods and techniques to clean and restore even the most intricate items. At the end of the day, we’re the experts in cleaning and preservation, working with 80 plus active billionaires. We’ve really earned our reputation the old fashioned way. Over the years, we’ve surprised, wooed and done our magic on expensive, vintage and irreplaceable items… our ability to perform unprecedented restorations of said items has allowed our client base to grow tremendously. Mayor Bloomberg once joked with me, “I’ll fight the crime, you fight the grime.”
When it comes to irreplaceable gar-ments, there’s no room for error. What are some of the most notable projects you’ve worked on?
We’ve worked on the entire Coco Chanel collection exhibited at The Met from the 1920s, the original pieces from The Wizard of Oz, which are currently on-display at the Disney museum, a general’s uniform worn by Winston Churchill, Joe DiMaggio’s original jersey, the late Princess Diana’s gowns for her world museum tour, plus tons of Met Gala attire. We also made Jay-Z’s white tuxedo “pristine” within four hours of his performance at Lincoln Center, restored Elton John’s couture Versace costume (we re-dyed 100 original glass crystals so they would pop) and that’s not even the half of it!
What about the most valuable piece you’ve had in your hands?
A gown worn by Maria Menounos. That particular dress had $2.5 million in diamond accents. We had to hand-clean it in a secure environment. It was a major job, including re-sewing hundreds of loose diamonds coming off.
What is your role during New York Fashion Week?
We have drivers and editors lining up outside our business during Fashion Week to get garments and to do last-minute cleanings/finishing touches for the runway. Our team works long hours. We have an emergency Fashion Mobile Unit fully equipped to spot clean and tailor any items within minutes of receiving the problem piece. This vehicle is parked right outside of Lincoln Center for the duration of Fashion Week, ready to assist all participating designers and patrons. We’ve also had a 20 plus year relationship with Anna Wintour and the team at Vogue. No is never an option, regardless of how large or small the requests are of our clients. We rise to the occasion under any circumstances to exceed expectations and satisfy client demands on a daily basis.