Every New York Fashion Week, I attend as many shows as humanly possible. Some designers are past favorites and some are designers new to me. In all of these cases, I am looking for designs that will excite me and in turn be able to share that excitement with you. Sometimes the shows are good, sometimes forgettable and sometimes they are true revelations.
One label I seek out season after season is Marchesa. It is hands down THE show that I look forward to every season. I wrote to them requesting an invite for their presentation, despite not knowing if and when it would occur. I did not hear back from them and several of my colleagues told me that they didn’t think they were showing this time around. Then almost last minute, I learned that the presentation WAS taking place at the same venue in Chelsea as last season. Needless to say, I high tailed it down there on the afternoon of the event, determined not to miss it. I was relieved to find that my advance request had landed me on the guest list. Lucky me!
Once inside, I was greeted by a collection that was everything I had hoped it would be. The level at which they consistently produce amazes me and has my utmost respect. I wandered through the presentation awestruck, my head buzzing with a sensory overload of beauty. In describing the outfits, I struggle in calling them “gowns” or “dresses”, as these are so much more than that. Each one is a divine piece of art, taking fashion to it’s highest level and creating wearable masterpieces. This is truly Haute Couture.
For Fall 2011, designer’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig took their inspiration from Charles Dickens Great Expectations, imbuing the collection with a Dickensian Era romanticism. Miss Havisham’s wedding gown played a key role, with yards and yards of lace evident throughout the collection. Except that not all of it is really lace. The designers created their own “lace” by applying embroidery and beading onto tulle for a visually stunning effect. Crystals, jet beads, pearls and metallic threads give this handcrafted lace a stunning richness.
Fine silks, velvet, organza, tulle, feathers and reembroidered lace create a richness that is further emphasized by meticulous draping. Fabric is painstakingly draped to create 3-Dimensional forms and floral motifs which wrap around the body. The skilled drape and imaginative construction of each piece is a testament to true artistry and craftsmanship.
I wouldn’t say that Marchesa tops itself each season, because that would imply that the previous collection was somehow less spectacular than the current collection. Rather, it is more accurate to say that they continue to produce collections that inspire wonderment and awe, each collection equally brilliant. I hesitatingly pulled myself away and strolled out onto 22nd Street in the dreamy state of a somnambulist, not wanting to awake from the beauty that had surrounded me. Marchesa had done it again!