Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig's Fall 2014 bridal collection for Marchesa is lovingly — and appropriately — called The Secret Garden. For all the beautiful floral embellishments that are plainly visible in this collection (like the crystal embroidery on a sleeveless gown and the lace of a cocktail-length dress), there are also elements that aren't so obvious. The designers cleverly hid lace behind the billowing fabrics of some gowns and used sheer tulle to create the illusion that pearl studs were floating just above their wearer's décolletage.
"It's Voyahhge!" Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig said when we asked them how to pronounce the name of their newest line, Marchesa Voyage, on Thursday night.
The designers announced that they'd be adding a contemporary line to the collection of labels they've created at Marchesa in February, but they threw a party to celebrate the Voyage Fall 2013 collection just this week. Chapman said the line, which features a wider product assortment than their other collections, "is about having Marchesa DNA at a different price point."
"She's really a global-minded woman. She's traveling the world, or maybe she's not," Craig said of the customer. "Maybe she's wanting to travel the world but really she's just going to the office. And it's about really completing her wardrobe."
Take a look at Marchesa Voyage's Fall 2013 collection and last night's party, here in the gallery.
For their Fall 2013 collection, Marchesa designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman traveled East — Far East, to be specific. The fearless twosome offered up full-length ball gowns, mermaid-hem dresses, and modern tea-length styles in lustrous reds, silvers, and black duchesse satin. The avant-garde gowns were given an Asian-inspired spin with traditional Mao collars, sheer tulle balloon sleeves, and intricate gold-leaf embroidery and styled with triple-strap pumps and sleek side-parted updos.
- Colors: Black, white, maroon, silver, fuchsia.
- Key details: Mao collars, sheer sleeves, gold embroidery, tulle layers.
- Shoes: Triple ankle-strap heels, lace-up peep-toe booties.
- Beauty look: Deep side parts with slicked-back updos, pretty peach and berry-hued lip stains.
- Who should wear it: Classic beauties who aren't afraid to take red-carpet risks, like Naomi Watts, Anne Hathaway, and Kerry Washington.
Is there a richer source of inspiration than India? For Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman, who infused the continent's rich silks and ornate embellishments into their colorful Spring 2013 collection for Marchesa, the answer is no.
Every dress that came down the runway featured some kind of decoration that pointed to the subcontinent: tunic and slim trousers cut from a pale gold brocade were embroidered and jeweled at their hems, and the silver cap-sleeved gown that Carolyn Murphy wore in the show was covered in lace. This was a literal interpretation of India, punched up with '60s shapes (cape sleeves, anyone?) and the energy of a glamorous Bollywood production.
"We like to think that if you put on the scent, you'll be at your most beautiful. Like putting on a Marchesa dress," said Marchesa cofounder Keren Craig about the brand's latest venture: Parfum D'Extase ($85). The perfume, which is encapsulated in a crystal-embossed bottle, contains notes of iris flower, young violet leaves, and lotus flower. It's a full, floral scent that's perfect for Spring. "For us, it was about trying to find the essence of our muse: very feminine, very sensual, and very beautiful," Karen explained.
The women of Marchesa, cofounder Georgina Chapman included, have been wanting to make their foray into the fragrance industry for some time, but it wasn't until they teamed up with Sephora that their dreams became a reality. The bottle fits in with the rest of Marchesa's exquisite aesthetic, as it's faceted to look like a crystal with tiny versions of the stones dotted down the center. "The crystal is a healing stone. We like that combination. It's something you'll want to put on your dressing table and look at." And who does Keren hope to see wearing this scent? "Every girl!" she said with a laugh. "We're never trend-led with our clothing. We like to create pieces that are really timeless. So I really hope that [Parfume D'Extase] crosses all different ages." Luckily for Marchesa, an elegant floral scent is something that's easy to love.
>> Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- Marchesa is reportedly discussing creating a lower-priced contemporary label with Li & Fung, the global trading firm that recently signed on to help Vena Cava expand into new categories. Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig already have a lower-priced line called Notte, which offers eveningwear. [Styleite]
- Jean Paul Gaultier said he was surprised to be the only person in fashion who made an homage to the late Amy Winehouse after her death. "Her look was fabulous, fantastic — it was unique," he said. "Usually, actresses and singers need fashion advice. She naturally had the right make-up, the right earrings — it was truly a style." [The Cut]
- Gisele Bundchen's 5-year-old niece Duda is already following in her aunt's footsteps, modeling and designing a line for the Brazilian children's wear company Brandili Mundi. "She told us about her preferences on prints, cuts and details, and based on the briefing we received from her we came up with a collaborative collection," said the brand's marketing director Germano Costa. [The Huffington Post]
- Singer Nicki Minaj is developing a fragrance with Give Back Brands, the same charitable company that released Justin Bieber's perfume Someday last year. Proceeds from the sale of the fragrance will be donated to the charity of Minaj's choice. "I have always been a huge fan of great fragrances," she said. "This is yet another extension of my creative expression." [The Fashion Spot]
- Heidi Klum bared everything for the May issue of Allure, posing naked for the cover and addressing topics ranging from her divorce to plastic surgery. "Everyone has a view of what's not pretty and [surgery] just doesn't look pretty to me," she said. [Fashion Etc.]
Photo: The finale of Marchesa's Fall 2012 runway show.
The designer's longtime friends (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), collaborators (Marchesa's Keren Craig), and design peers (Calvin Klein, who left with an autographed copy of the tome) showed up in support. As did more than a few fans — sporting their Louboutin heels, of course. "I'm wearing my very first pair from 1997," Amanda Brooks told Style.com of her strappy red sandals. "He gave them to me as a thank you because I used to work at the Gagosian Gallery, across from the Carlyle, and he would call me on my lunch break to come over and model the shoes for him."
Blake Lively, who made headlines a year ago for carting 40 pairs of Louboutins away from the designer's sample sale, also stopped by: "My first pair was basic black, and after that, it was love — now I have hundreds." Clearly the feeling is mutual — Louboutin whisked her off her feet and carried her away after the event.
We caught up with Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig at the HP Fashion Celebration where the two designers chatted about creating 3D lookbooks and how the new technology allows clients a more dynamic way to see their designs. Additionally, they share their inspiration behind the Spring 2012 line and the key to dressing for the red carpet.
>> Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton (and McQueen CEO Jonathan Akeroyd and a spokesperson from the label) have all categorically denied any involvement with Kate Middleton's wedding gown, although many still seem skeptical about believing them.
But McQueen aside, which other British or London-based designers have taken their names off the list of potentials? Marchesa, for one. “I’m excited to see what [Middleton]’s going to be wearing,” Keren Craig said. “I think she’s a very stylish woman, and I think she’ll probably choose something beautiful and classic. I don’t think she’s going to go for anything too trend-based or crazy edgy. She’ll look like a princess!”
Don't expect to see Middleton donning London labels Erdem or Vivienne Westwood, either — spokespeople from each label denied any involvement. And although wedding gown favorite Alice Temperley is making no comment on the matter, WWD cites sources saying that she's not doing Middleton's dress.
So who's remaining mum on whether they involved? Former favorite in the race, old school London couturier Bruce Oldfield; Issa's Danielle Helayel, who is a Middleton favorite (but Helayel is Brazilian and doesn't have much experience with gowns — honeymoon garb seems much more likely); and Catherine Walker, a brand which specializes in wedding gowns and made Princess Diana's burial gown.