Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On

The only show at NYFW I am always looking forward to is Marchesa. Georgina Chapman’s unmistakable style, the dream-like quality of her designs and the luxurious fabrics she uses, are good reasons for keeping an eye on this brand. What is more important than fashion is the suggestions fashion is connected to. Every designer has some themes and sources of inspiration for his/her collection, but Chapman’s ability goes beyond this: her dresses are like keys to enter a heavenly, romantic, dramatic and fairy-like world, where dreams come in the shape of tulle, ruffles, embroideries and feathers lighter than air.

I’ve never attended a red carpet event and I will surely never do, but if I had the chance to, I would wear one of her creations, just to realize how it feels like being a princess for a night.

The colour palette of this collection is based on a few bright colours – China red, royal blue, hot pink – and many neutral shades – black, white, grey, dusty baby blue, cream and beige. Only two dresses in China red were displayed, which is a pity, because I think this shade of red is perfect for such dramatic dresses. The short one is strapless and has ruffles on the bodice and cascading from the waist-line to the skirt. The other dress’ lenght is just above the ankles (very sexy lenght, in my opinion) and is a triumph of flat ruffles, pleated tulle and floral appliques on the strapless bodice.


Feathers are a recurring leit motiv in Marchesa collections, and they are the main features of many dresses of this collection. Both the dresses above are decorated by white feathers, but one is strapless, while the other has an off-the-shoulder neckline, Empire-line accented by a black sash with bow.

I think these two white dresses are the ones which convince me less, because they’re a little bit confused in their embellishments. The first is completely decorated by floral lace appliques, while the second has a black lace insert on nude tulle on the bodice; I love the pleated skirt and the beaded sheer underskirt, though.

Empire-line and feathers are a match made in heaven, and make the white dress above so perfect. The black and white taffeta and tulle ruffle dress is another staple in Marchesa collections.

You may have noticed this collection is much more relaxed and romantic than the spring/summer 2010 one. This time Chapman mixed the trademark elements of her style with the exotic and adventurous style of the Irish courtesan and dancer Lola Montez. I think the tuxedo-inspired dresses relate to that source. The tuxedo black dress is so simple, but is worn on a sheer top embroidered with a star motif (stars recur in the collection); the tuxedo short bolero is worn with a voluminous short ombre tulle skirt.

Pleated circles of black tulle are the elements which create the structure of the long dress: they can be found in the skirt and on the strapless bodice. The same fabric – ruffled but not cut in circle – characterizes the short dress, with a nice star embellishment on the bodice.

Lace is one of the most romantic fabrics ever, so I’m not surprised to find it in this collection. Chapman chose black lace for a strapless tube dress with slightly asymmetrical neckline and for a long, siren-shaped dress, with sheer skirt.

This black tulle pleated dress doesn’t convince much, because the circular rose appliques are barely visible (I would have left them out, if I were Chapman). This shot allows us to take a look at the make-up and the hairstyle seen on the models. The messy updos and half-dos are a constant in Marchesa presentations, and I think they’re a lovely “imperfect” touch in contrast with impressive dresses. Talia Shobrook did the make-up of the models, using Le Métier de Beauté products. I like the final result, very light and glowing, and I love those rhinestones in tear ducts!

I love when Chapman plays with the neutral tones of gold, silver, beige and powdery pink. These colours are extremely refined and are perfect for making a statement dress more special than ever. Liquid metal is the effect achieved by the intricate beadings which decorate the amazing dress on the left, with a gold lace bodice, accented by a bow on the shoulder. Pleated tulle has been used in the second dress, one of my favourite; I love the way the skirt falls on the floor, with a sea-foam effect.

Two different tones of grey (silver and dark grey) characterize the short dresses above, very much Marchesa, with their delicate beadings and the silk and tulle ruffles.

Ribbons can often be found in Marchesa collections, creating lovely ruffles and rosettes, decorating both the dresses above. One is short, one-shouldered and black, while the other is floor-long, in a dusty shade of baby blue.

Feathers again, but this time they come in a heavenly baby blue shade. They embellish the skirt and the short sleeves of the dress with a sheer embroidered bodice, and make precious the miniskirt worn with a tuxedo bolero.

Bright colours (fuchsia and royal blue), short lenghts and Paisley embroideries distinguish these two dresses: one is short-sleeved and has ruffles behind, while the other has one shoulder and tiny ruffles on the bodice and on the miniskirt.

Christian Louboutin created the magnificent shoes that completed the collection. These towering peep-toe pumps in red and purple suede are Madame Butterfly. The platform and the three bows are exquisite.

Lili Marlene and Marale are the names of the pumps and ankle boots above. They are made special by glittering leather, sheer inserts and cut-outs.

Loubout are satin peep-toe booties, with platforms and diamante buttons, reminiscent of Fifre ankle boots.

If you remember the spring/summer 2010 collection, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the amazing flower-painted tights seen on the models. This year, Chapman has brought things on a higher level: tights are not only painted/printed with rose decorations, but also embellished by black beadings. I hope some celebrities will wear them, because they are absolutely stunning. Ronfifi Supra are the suede over-the-knee boots with diamante buttons on the right, a variation of the infamous Supra Fifre boots.

Canon are the peep-toe booties on the left, with satin platform, black rhinestones on tulle and ruffles on the front. The peep-toe boots on the right are similar, with satin platform and embroidered trims. Can you see the tiny stars decorating the model’s ankle?

Georgina Chapman has expanded her line with bags and jewellery, some of which can be seen on the models. The rings above, created by the London-based jeweller Garrard, have central oval stones (jade and pink coral), inserted in diamond-studded mountings.  I prefer jewels with a different vibe, but these rings nicely complement the outfits on display.

What are your thoughts about this collection? Which is your favourite piece? I wonder who will be the first celebrity to choose one of my favourite dresses…

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6 comments

    1. The Academy Awards are around the corner, so I guess Anne (or another celebrity) could really wear one of these dresses in that occasion. I think the red, longer one and the white one with Empire-line would be perfect for her.

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