Fashion

09.11.13

Marchesa Goes Vintage

Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig presented a more romantic collection for Spring/Summer 2014, featuring lace and embellishments -- plus body tattoos by Scott Campbell.

The colors were softer. The fabrics were looser. Yet Marchesa was as romantic as ever.

"When Georgina [Chapman] was younger, her mother had a curiosity box," designer Keren Craig told The Daily Beast. "It had butterflies and birds in it and it was very beautiful, so Georgina thought of taking that idea--"

Georgina chimed in: "We took the idea of the young girl exploring fashion, different kinds of fabrics, lingerie. It's very easy. It's romantic. It's much softer than last season," she said, citing the omission of corestry from the collection.

The collection became an homage to "playful curiosities" from across the decades, including the Twenties, Thirties, and Fifties. Between swinging fringe and tulle skirts to handpainted florals and decadent embroideries, the designers integrated the momentos of Chapman's mother's collections into the details of every piece.

Under the elegant ceilings of The New York Public Library, Marchesa presented gauzy blouses, lace cardigans with ribbon-ties, loose silk organza t-shirts, and creative layering, with intricate pieces  of lingerie -- including bralets and underwear -- peeking from underneath sheer and lace overlays. The make-up, created by Gucci Westman, included a dark purple lip with soft eyes, while the hair was kept straight, accessorized with large feathers.

And while Marchesa's designs took a different twist this season -- or as Chapman described, "a little more eclectic... a little more of a mix putting all different things together in one box" -- one of the most unique spins was the designers's collaboration with tattoo artist Scott Campbell. 

Campbell is recognized for his tattoo talent, having created designs for everyone from Marc Jacobs to Orlando Bloom. Because of his close relationship with the designers -- Campbell attended their show last season, and most recently, Marchesa dressed his wife, Lake Bell, for their wedding -- a collaboration "seemed natural," according to Chapman.

"[Scott] looked at all the embroideries and the looks and he designed the tattoos specifically for the dresses," Craig explained. And so walked out models decorated in tattooed butterflies and roses, creating a seemingly hardcore spin on the line's classic lace and silk.

With a front row packed with celebrities, including Campbell and Bell, Courtney Love, Petra Nemkova, and Ashley Greene, it's hard to imagine who wouldn't want to wear Marchesa's clothes.

When asked if there's anyone in particular they'd like to dress, the duo laughed -- Craig said, "We'd like to see lots of people in Marchesa." Chapman agreed that their list is "very very long." However, after much deliberation, Georgina pulled me back to say Dree Hemingway, with whom she just worked with on her directoral debut for short-film A Dream of Flying. "Dree embodies what the collection is all about," she said.