Marchesa Spring 2018 Ready To Wear Collection At Vivaldi Boutique NYC
Posted on February 22, 2018
Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig continued to weave a Far East fairy tale at the Marchesa Spring 2018 Ready To Wear show. Last season, they cited China as an influence, and Spring ’18 took its cues from Aimée Crocker’s travels to Japan. In the 1920s, the famously eccentric explorer left everything behind to settle into a new life of Buddhism, pearls, cherry blossoms, and “collected” lovers; she even adopted snakes, and went so far as to wear one around her neck at parties, like living jewelry.
Sound familiar? We’d like to think Crocker would have gotten along with Marchesa Luisa Casati, the snake-wearing muse who inspired the brand’s name. Don’t worry—you aren’t going to see snake embellishments on their couture gowns. Instead, there’s built-in “jewelry” of another kind: strands of pearls, crystals, and organza corsages outlining the scooped neckline of a black gown or piled on top of a sheer tulle bodice, mimicking the effect of layering a tangle of necklaces over bare skin. Marchesa fans will remember a similar gown from Fall ’16; perhaps Chapman and Craig received so many requests for it, they were compelled to bring it back with a new twist.
The pearls on those “necklaces” are a big part of Japanese culture, and there were a few other direct nods. Fluffy tulle gowns came covered in hand-dyed organza cherry blossoms and wisteria vines, and models had petals woven into their hair. A few dresses were cut with flattering, kimono-like sleeves, while others were cinched with obi-esque sashes. The slinky fur-trim dresses had the feel of Japanese pajamas, too.
With Marchesa, it’s best to consider each look individually, rather than view the pieces as a cohesive group. “We see Marchesa as this continuing fairy-tale story, not bookended so much by collections,” Chapman explained. “Each dress is unto its own. We want them to be keepsake pieces, not driven by trends—pieces you can pass on.” She added that certain gowns required hundreds of hours of intensive handwork; heirloom quality, indeed. We’re guessing you’ll see a few of them on the Emmys red carpet this Sunday; our bets are on the plunging, petal-covered gown with peach velvet ribbons looped around the waist like a corset.