Marchesa Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York
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In the program notes for the Marchesa show the designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig revealed that the famous seventeenth-century panting “Portrait of Maria Teresa de Vallabriga on Horseback,” by Francisco de Goya was the genesis of their gown filled fall/winter 2013 collection.

It was a lovely starting point to a show all about deconstructing the hardware underpinnings of corsetry, combining them with softer elements like shirt dresses or even trousers, and yet still maintain the architectural nature of the ensembles. And at its best moments the designers were able to get that mélange just right.

A nude one-shoulder dress in cascading tiers of multi-colored flower embroidery looked more modern than historical in its beautiful execution. The same could be said for a cream suede embroidered corset worn with a gauzy white shirt and a matching suede pencil skirt. The black tulle dress with a pointed flat collar and floral embroidery sprouting up the sides looked elegantly reserved.

In fact, it was the quieter ensembles in the collection in shades of dove gray, cream, and pale pink that felt the most appropriate for today’s event dressing. For that is what we are talking about when we discuss the Marchesa brand. It is a house that has built its name on one night wonders designed for red carpets, gala dinners, and debutant balls. The Oscars (which are basically all three of those events rolled into one) are just around the corner and any one of these subtler dresses would do the designer duo proud at the awards ceremony.

It was only when the show brought together the gilded embroidery, rich hued fabric like burgundy or blood red, and the theatrical style of seventeenth-century dress did this collection move into designs that felt more destined for the stage rather that the “real” world of event dressing.

- Jessica Michault

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