>> Marchesa's Georgina Chapman is known for her polished look — and her frothy gowns: "More is more! That's the Marchesa motto," she wisecracks — but, she warns: "I look much more civilized than I actually am. I'm actually an incredibly disorganized, messy person. My mother says I'm like a disease that can walk into a room and get it infected. I can destroy things in seconds." Marchesa cofounder Keren Craig corroborates with a story from college: "We were in Thailand, [and] a lot of people's huts got raided by thieves, but we kept all of our clothes on the floor, so I think if anyone tried to ransack us, it looked like someone had beat them to it. I thought I was messy until I met Georgina!" [Harper's Bazaar]
We can always expect show-stopping dresses at a Marchesa presentation, and its 2011 Spring collection didn't disappoint. At all. Upon entering its intimate space at the Chelsea Art Museum, we were first treated to an enormous ebony and pearl gown of endless tulle inspired by what Keren Craig and new mom Georgina Chapman called "an Orientalist journey."
Then they departed from that idea with a series of baggy lace jumpsuits and laser-cut floral minis. Georgina's supportive husband, Harvey Weinstein, held court while she hung back and did press with Keren. Other notables like Molly Sims, Petra Nemcova, and Olivia Palermo turned out — Kelly Osbourne put up her new long hair and told us she's so excited to see lots of camels, corals, and beiges this season since "they look really good on me when I have a fake tan!" Georgina and Keren stuck to a palette of ivory, mint, and rose, giving us their latest crop of dresses bound to be spotted on future red carpets. One more cool thing about this presentation — we spotted some kind assistants walking around and actually feeding the models peanut M&Ms and apple juice! Amazing.
To see all of the pics from the Marchesa show, read more
Fashion in 50 Seconds 8/18/10 Love's New Cover Girls, New Accessories Bazaar to Display Spring 2011 Collections
Love's new girls.
New Accessories Bazaar will display Spring 2011 shoes, bags, and jewelry collections so you can actually see them during Fashion Week.
Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig will answer your red carpet glamour questions in InStyle.
Julia Restoin-Roitfeld's new gigs: face of Lancome, Mark Fast consultant.
September fashion mags earn praise for skewing older this year.
>> It Was Isabella Blow Who Told Marchesa to Stick to Eveningwear —If there's one fact that's inarguable, it's that Isabella Blow had quite the sphere of influence over designers and their success. When Marchesa started in 2004, Georgina Chapman says, she and Keren Craig had nothing really to sell and definitely no business model. They did have an invite to a "smart party," however, and wore their own designs. Chapman's backless sari dress caught the eye of Isabella Blow, who asked if she could borrow the dress for Paris Fashion Week. Blow also is the one who told Chapman and Craig to focus on eveningwear. [Huffington Post]
>> Last night, with the help of keynote speaker Alber Elbaz, who doled out gems on the perils of success — "It's like a bottle of perfume. You smell it, you don't sniff it or drink it" — Alaia veteran and Michelle Obama favorite Sophie Theallet took home the 2009 Vogue/Fashion Fund prize of $200,000 and a year of mentoring. Fellow nominees Patrik Ervell and Monique Pean were named runners-up, and received $50,000 each plus a business mentor.
In her speech, Anna Wintour said that in addition to the US, Italy, and the UK — which just started a similar talent-nurturing program — she just met with the French minister of culture about mirroring the contest there. "And Brazil, India, Russia, and China aren't far behind."
"The money and the mentoring will help Ms. Theallet because she needs to be able to offer more range in her collection, as well as expand her production options. She has such a distinctly feminine eye, and the skills, that I’ve often wondered why a big retailer doesn’t ask Ms. Theallet to design some blouses and summer dresses for them, using the store’s resources and manufacturing connections."
Marchesa is known for its ultraglamorous gowns, but the luxury house is about to be recognized for its equally stunning accessories. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have decided to enter handbag land for Spring '10. "We were frustrated because we couldn’t find [an evening] bag to fit it all," said Craig. The collection consists of 28 clutches and evening cases with elaborate details such as beading, pleating and corsetry. Elements of jewelry are also in the mix — handles have beads and crystals. Expect to find Marchesa handbags in evening-wear departments where its dresses are sold, as well as on the main floor in accessories departments. If I'm excited, then Rachel Zoe is for sure going bananas!
To see a few more glam Marchesa bags, read more
>> Marchesa's bread and butter is gowns, so even when some designers are shying away from them this season, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have to go ahead full-force. The inspiration for Fall 2009? A whimsical fairy tale involving girls walking through the woods in ballgowns, resulting in a tulle-d, lace-d, sequined, and beribboned collection — sometimes overwrought, but always red carpet-ready — the shredded candy pink cocktail dress and two sparkly black tulle dresses, as well as the navy one-shouldered dress with cut-out waist, if turned into a gown, will do swimmingly. The real problem was how much the high-heeled toe shoes caused discomfort for the models — one's feet were going purple, another had to sit down, and some were leaning against the wall. Brings the fairy tale back to reality, no?
>> Now that Georgina Chapman has officially realigned herself as the designer of Marchesa, leaving Keren Craig, former co-designer, to the more business side of things, she's branching out beyond Marchesa.
Garrard, the British jewelry brand that supplied Princess Diana's engagement ring, is seeking a creative director since Jade Jagger left the post in 2007, and in the meantime, they've asked Georgina to be a guest designer. The Georgina Chapman for Garrard collection is to be unveiled next September during New York Fashion Week — no doubt accessorizing the Spring 2010 Marchesa collection — and prices are expected to run in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.
It's interesting that the collection is called "Georgina Chapman for Garrard" rather than "Marchesa for Garrard," don't you think? Especially when the company is looking for a new creative director and Garrard's CEO says Georgina's line is expected to be "a significant part of the Garrard business." Not that Georgina would leave Marchesa behind for jewelry — but it does seem like she's trying to do things more on her own without Keren.
>> Along with the annual International Best-Dressed List, the September 2008 Vanity Fair features a spread dubbed "America's New Fashion Guard," featuring up-and-coming designers, including a few designing duos like Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava.
Marchesa was also spotlighted, but as Chic Report so astutely pointed out, only one half of the brand's designing duo is pictured: Georgina Chapman, with no Keren Craig in sight.
Interesting, in light of the rumors back in May suggesting that Keren was being phased out as a co-designer; the photographic evidence here definitely lends credence to that possibility. Or maybe, as Chic Report suggested, Keren was just on her honeymoon when the picture was taken.