Nothing is every simple at Marchesa. Designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman specialize in attention-getting evening gowns, with yards of tulle, cascading ruffles, embroidered embellishments, and lush 3D petal flowers. Excess is almost always best for the gala goer who wants to make a special statement on the society circuit or at a milestone wedding or or other special event.
For spring 2018, the design duo were inspired by Aimeé Crocker, "an American heiress, princess, Bohemian, world traveler, mystic and author known for her cultural exploration of the Far East, for her extravagant parties in San Francisco, New York and Paris, and for her collections of lovers, adopted children, Buddhas, pearls, tattoos and snakes," according to her Wikipedia description.
That description leaves plenty of fodder there for an opulent collection and Craig and Chapman took advantage of the opportunity. Many of their gowns have touches of Far East fashion, with billowing kimono sleeves, obi corset belts, and strands of pearl necklaces incorporated into plunging neckline designs, in a tribute to Crocker's wandering ways.
Other looks are frothier, with column gowns swathed in cherry-red tulle from head to toe and several princess gowns with big skirts that are dotted with hundreds of textured flowers or lavender wisteria embellishment at the waist. Many of the evening looks are sheer, with lace or intricate beading covering strategic parts of the body.
A couple of styles— satin tuxedos in all-black and all-white — are more subdued, but otherwise the Marchesa designers go out to create something unique and special. And isn't that what nighttime dressing should be all about?
The Marchesa collection is available in Houston at Elizabeth Anthony.