“I want to be a living work of art” ~Marchesa Luisa Casati
A living work of art. The center of attention. While few would ever have the tenacity to say it out loud, most women would love to be the most beautiful or interesting or original person in the room- to be a living breathing work of art. The Marchesa Luisa Casati was a woman who voiced her desire for beauty outright… that is why she is the perfect muse and namesake for a label that from needle and thread can create such works of living art: Marchesa
Still considered a young label, Marchesa has established itself among the designer elite. A coupling of two British designers, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, Marchesa has taken the art of couture and evening wear design to a whole new level: transforming clothe into a work of art that drapes the female form and exudes elegance, femininity, regality and unearthly beauty.
While joint designer labels are not unheard of (Dolce & Gabbana, Proenza Schouler, Skaist Taylor), it is rare to see one comprised of two women where both designers are able to use their talents and skills in seamless harmony. Though both women are equally talented, Georgina Chapman is the more recognizable of the two after having been a judge on Project Runway: All Stars. Born and raised in London, Georgina originally modeled for shampoo and throat lozenge commercials. She graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 2001 and began a career in costume design where she specialized in draping. The lesser known but equally talented Keren Craig was born in Switzerland and raised in London, where she met Georgina while both were attending Chelsea College of Art and design. Specializing in textiles with concentrations on embroidery, Keren did freelance work for high-end fashion labels before launching Marchesa with Georgina in 2004. Keren’s skill for fabric design paired with Georgina’s knack for draping landed the two budding designers plenty of investors and by 2006 Marchesa was named one of the top ten finalists of the Vogue Fashion Fund. Since it’s origin in 2004, Marchesa has been worn by countless celebrities and royals (most notable being Kate Middleton) and is fast becoming one of the leading bridal and couture lines in the fashion industry. In terms of style, the designs are ultra feminine and delicately beautiful; with a distinct fairy/sprite-like quality it’s almost as if their gowns were constructed using the elements found in nature (flower petals, spider’s silk, frost covered leaves, mother of pearl). Every design that comes down the runway is uniquely detailed without being overdone and female form is glorified with every drape, tuck, ruffle and pleat.
Eager to reach women of every demographic, Georgina and Keren have expanded Marchesa beyond bridal and evening wear, and have opened their label to fragrance, dish ware and handbags. Georgina has even created a new line called Pearl that will be launched through JCPenny.
I think it’s safe to say that Marchesa is one of the all time best gown-designers of this century. Here’s looking to what they have in store for the year 2014!