[Pictured is a ranch mink reversible 3/4 length coat, Pat MacDonagh for Yukon Fur – the only Furrier and Fur Designer to be included in the Fashion Annual]

The Label

Rumors of her demise are greatly exaggerated.

“I’ve never gone bankrupt. I’ve just got sick of hearing people say that I’ve gone out of business. They ask, ‘Where are you now?’ I say, ‘I’m in the same place.’ I dare not move in case the rumors fly!

“For the moment, I simply say a prayer on Thursday and pay my staff on Friday,” the 53-year-old Irish born designer told Flare magazine. Indeed, she and her feisty little mutt, Benji, are survivors, fixtures on the Toronto fashion scene.

“He doesn’t bark at home,” says McDonagh, “Just at the office.”

Since arriving on the Canadian fashion scene 22 years ago in a vinyl mini-skirt that froze to her thighs, Pat McDonagh has won six Eddee awards for design excellence.

A student at the Paris Sorbonne and sometime model, McDonagh wound up running a London fashion shop called “The Establishment”, hiring Twiggy for her fashion shows, designing “tight little Italian jackets”for the Beatles and pre-dating punk with leather and rubber costumes for The Avengers T.V. series.

Today, McDonagh dresses princesses – from the Princess Leatitia of Saudi Arabia and H.R.H. Princess Diana of Wales, for whom she designed a spectacular evening dress for a formal occasion at Rideau Hall – and many of Canada’s fashion press.