>> 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]
Calling all party monsters. If you are currently lacking inspiration for holiday dressing, let SJP be your muse. The lovely leading lady razzle-dazzled 'em at the UK premiere of Did You Hear About the Morgans? in a shocking pink L'Wren Scott dress and fabulously fun accessories. Those purple suede and pink satin Charlotte Olympia pumps — swoon. Her flowing black L'Wren Scott coat even carried a signature Carrie rosette pin. Takes me back. But SJP is always taking it fashion forward.
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It's time to kick off our fun Best of 2009 polls — you ready? Which designer reigned supreme this year? Big decision, after all, they're the ones who inspire us to think creatively, look our best, and try out new trends. We narrowed it down to five based on their accolades (and our obsessions) throughout the year: Isabel Marant, Jason Wu, Marchesa, Balmain, and Stella McCartney.
(L-R: Isabel Marant, Jason Wu, Marchesa, Balmain, and Stella McCartney)
French designer Isabel Marant, swept our hearts with her rocker romantic aesthetic and flirty frocks. Fashion darling, Jason Wu, made a major presence this year with his chic, political-worthy frocks. Marchesa's Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, continued to stun us with their outstanding red-carpet gowns. Balmain's Christophe Decarnin brought badass back — Balmania!!! — with his endless supply of bedazzled body-con dresses and acid wash jeans. And Stella, who can deny the designer's stellar eye for tailored everyday pieces and animal-friendly stance? Don't forget to join our Best of '09 group to share your '09 favorites — the news, trends, models, designers, celebrities, and musings that rocked your world this year. Vote happy? Vote on our other Best of 2009 polls!
It's stiff competition when it's between the model-like designer of the dress and an actual model. Alas, we must decide. Both beauties wore this cobalt strapless silk wool dress with draped bodice and kept everything to a minimum, to let the dress shine. Stunning earrings were adorned by both, as well as neutral pumps — though Jacquetta's sandals have a slight gold sheen. We don't witness Georgina's handbag, but Jacquetta's embellished gunmetal Marchesa clutch looks pretty cool. Who wore it best?
>> 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."
Last week at the Music Unites Fall Masquerade Gala, Kerry Washington and Georgina Chapman wore pretty, poufy frocks from Georgina's coveted Marchesa line. Both dresses were white, but notice how the two styles varied in texture. Kerry's tulle embellishment and streamlined shape gave a more architectural appeal, while Georgina's feathered creation emoted flirty, flapper energy. Both beauties accessorized with sleek black clutches and matching pumps. This one's a toughie: do you prefer the designer or the celebrity?
Georgina Chapman had friends and family on hand last night as she debuted her new line with British jeweler Garrard in the company's New York store. Her whimsical collection features a heavy feather motif, and famous faces like Mischa Barton, Becki Newton and Helena Christensen where there to check out the new jewels.
It was all about wedding attire on last night's Gossip Girl. Despite a last-minute announcement, everyone managed to look their finest. Chuck, Nate, and Carter looked beyond dapper in their suits, and of course, the girls dresses were beyond amazing – even Dorota dressed up for the occasion! Time to test your fashion skills . . .
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Spring Fashion Week is moving right along in NYC, with lots of celebs turning out to take it all in. Rachel Zoe put aside her fashion flu to join Blake Lively and Brad Goreski last night at Marchesa to check out their Madame Butterfly-inspired collection. Leighton Meester kept her show stamina up after seeing 3.1 Phillip Lim yesterday, attending Proenza Schouler's urban scuba collection alongside Rachel McAdams and Anna Wintour, whose recent chumminess has people speculating about her future Vogue collaboration. Janet Jackson even stepped out for her first time, taking in Ralph Lauren today with his daughter Dylan.
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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