Georgina Chapman has been one busy woman this year. Pregnant with her second child, she presented the romantic Marchesa fall 2013 collection in New York, attended the Oscars in Los Angeles with husband, Silver Linings Playbook producer Harvey Weinstein, and introduced the lower-priced Pearl by Georgina Chapman collection at JC Penney.
And she also found time to create a bridal collection for fall 2013 that makes its Houston debut at the Joan Pillow Bridal Salon through Saturday.
"I am dramatic in my design approach to begin with, but when I’m pregnant, I tend to unleash even more of that fantastical thinking."
With her baby due any day now, the 36-year-old British designer was unable to make it to Houston to showcase her bridal gowns. But she answered some questions in an email conversation with CultureMap, where she discussed the differences between bridal and red carpet gowns and her time as a judge on Project Runway All Stars, where she was always introduced as "the beautiful Georgina Chapman."
CultureMap: As the designer of Marchesa, you are known for show-stopping red carpet gowns. What's different about designing a wedding gown?
Georgina Chapman: The design process remains the same for me, but I do certainly take the bride into consideration. I think about everything from structure, style and fabrics, to how the gown will look in photos and the style of wedding. The same Marchesa aesthetic always applies for our bridal collections: feminine touches, dramatic flair and attention to detail.
CM: Many people think of bridal gowns as being timeless, but are there themes or trends in each collection?
GC: We do work with themes in our bridal collections, but they are subtle. We have in the past played with ideas of floral lace, romantic fairy tales, and modern adaptations of historical references. We never design with trends in mind; I like to instead focus on inspiration, mood and the overall silhouette.
CM: What are the themes and/or trends in the collection that will debut in Houston?
GC: Our most recent bridal collection blended architectural details with soft interpretations of the Iris and Bulgarian Rose flowers.
CM: What did you learn from your Project Runway experience?
GC: So much! It’s been such an interesting, wonderful experience. I’m constantly amazed by how quickly the designers turn their projects around, and craft garments in such a small window of time.
"I’m constantly amazed by how quickly the (Project Runway) designers turn their projects around, and craft garments in such a small window of time."
CM: Was it a one-time thing or do you plan to do it again?
GC: I’ve done two seasons now, both have been great. We’ll have to see!
CM: What inspired the etheral gown you wore to the Oscars?
GC: I’m quite pregnant at the moment, as you can tell in the photos! As such, I wanted something comfortable, soft and free-flowing, but still romantic and intricate. I created the gown relatively last minute, but I was very happy with it.
CM: You have been quoted as saying that being pregnant has helped the design process. How so?
GC: I have felt an incredible rush of creativity during my pregnancy. It was the same for my first pregnancy, too. I am dramatic in my design approach to begin with, but when I’m pregnant, I tend to unleash even more of that fantastical thinking.
The Marchesa bridal collection is at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, 4001 Westheimer, through Saturday.