-By Diana Minnocci-
Marchesa’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection was heavily influenced by India, an inspiration that resulted in a show of undeniable glamour and opulence. The opening look – a tunic, ornately beaded at the chest, cap sleeve, and hem, paired with slim-cut, cropped pants and gold-embroidered flats designed in collaboration with Christian Louboutin – was an unexpected if ingenious choice from designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, the duo who have constructed Marchesa into a label precedented upon evening gowns that are runway to red carpet ready. It was, of course, an indication of apparel to come, in the best of ways.
There were more pants, both lace and beaded; many evening-appropriate flats and kitten heels, sandaled or pointed-toed, and most with impeccable embellishment; and two lehenga-like outfits, one brocade and one lace, complete with midriff-baring cholis and maxi skirts composed entirely of tulle. The hair and makeup was 1960’s India beautifully reinvented: eyes heavily lined at the bottom in kohl, with a gold leaf carefully applied to each inner corner; a center part and choice strands of hair braided, then wrapped around the head, ending in a long, low ponytail.
The colors were varied, but all brilliant, and sequenced cleverly with white and gold looks integrated throughout. Beginning with the most elegant shade of chartreuse, the collection transitioned into peach and orange, then vibrant fuchsia, reds ranging into burgundy and on to plum, and, finally, peacock, midnight, and teal blues. Hemlines were diverse in length, too, with mini dresses and floor-length gowns, some with trains, others of asymmetrical or bias cut.
A short, chartreuse dress came with bracelet-sleeved swing coat, both gorgeously detailed with gold embroidery and jewel-embellishment. A number of stunning sari-inspired dresses involved elaborate draping over one shoulder. A heavily-beaded bordeaux gown, with sheer neck and draped back, was composed of rows of incredible silk fringe that swayed beautifully as the model sashayed down the runway. Towards the finale appeared an awe-inspiring gold lace gown with white tulle overlay and jewel-encrusted neck, shoulder, and sleeve, so exquisite that it best demonstrates what the designers term a “major Marchesa moment.”
The collection was indeed so entirely breathtaking and beautiful that it seemed, if only for its duration, to still the madness of Manhattan’s rush-hour commute, the show staged as it was in Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Terminal. And that, surely, is the magic of Marchesa.
Diana Minnocci is a freelance fashion writer with graduate degrees in English and Women’s Studies. She’s particularly obsessed with fine lingerie and red lipstick, and is a lover of all things vintage. You can follow her on Twitter @dianaminnocci.