During a week of runway strutfests, it was a breath of fresh air to experience the layout and presentation of the Marchesa show. The line of evening gowns was displayed more like a costume exhibit than a runway show.
The bright fuschias and saffron embroidered gowns were elegant statement pieces though the standard black cocktail dresses (one corset dress was a standout) weren't nearly as memorable. The standout piece was a magenta strapless gown that looked like it was made of rose petals poured over the model's form.
My one complaint: the model selection.
While the models were lovely, they didn't fit the image of the type of statuesque woman who would wear ballgowns. The girls looked like teenagers who should be wearing prom dresses not evening wear. It is en vogue to use thin, gamine like models with stunning faces as real life 'hangers' for clothing. While this may work for streetwear, it takes a presence to pull off the type of statement making gowns that Marchesa makes. That attention-getting design is one reason why Chapman and Creig's designs typically work on the red carpet.
Critics point to Chapman's romance with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for that ubiquity. Weinstein's high-profile foray into fashion via his buyout of Halston with private equity firm Hilco earlier this year fed speculation that he was backing Chapman's designs. Whether or not this is the case, Marchesa's gowns and the appeal of the classic designs speak for themselves.
While I am far from a fashion critic, I will say that the show appeared to be attracting all the right types of 'fashion socialites' (Lauren Davis and Margherita Missoni among them--is the correct term here fashionista?) and tons of fashion press. Considering that the venue was not Bryant Park (where all the big IMG/Fashion Week events are held) but an off-the-beaten- track location at the Chelsea Art museum, the crowd was an impressive one.
Co-designer Georgina Chapman and Keren Creig definitely drew positive reviews for the crowd. Stila Cosmetic sponsored the makeup and provided the goodie bags.
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