Inspired by the scandalous 20th century style icon, Marquesa Casati, the UK design duo Marchesa has been drawing rave reviews since gracing the fashion landscape in 2004 with its paparazzi-friendly party frocks.
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The brainchild of Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig who met during their teens at London’s Chelsea College of Art, Marchesa has quickly become a red carpet staple amongst the stars. Marchesa’s first big break came by way of Renée Zellweger who showed up at the London premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, quickly followed by Cate Blanchett at the Rome premiere for The Aviator. But the label’s coup de grace came in the form of Felicity Huffman who accepted her Golden Globe for Transamerica in a white flowing goddess dress. Since then Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba and Mischa Barton all have been spotted in their fabulously flirty offerings. The label also made a strong showing by Jenny McCarthy, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Jennifer Lopez at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. More recently, J-Lo and Sienna Miller both wore Marchesa to the Golden Globes, appearing on many critics’ lists, as did Anne Hathaway at the SAG Awards.
Named one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top finalists in 2006, the label has since moved from the red carpet to the runway with equal aplomb. For Spring/Summer 2007, the duo debuted their collection at New York Fashion Week under the apt-theme, “Paparazzi Ready.” Showcasing a flower bomb of dresses in organza, silk and chiffon, Marchesa’s pretty proposition for Spring was on point with many of the season’s key trends: romanticism, florals, the Eighties and shorter lengths.
Reaching such breathtaking heights of success, many have cited Chapman’s powerful Hollywood boyfriend of two years, movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein – commonly referred to as “the Harvey Factor” –– as the driving force behind Marchesa’s dizzying achievements. And with their creations quickly becoming the go-to gown for a legion of stars on the front lines of virtually every A-list event, speculation as to who is truly enlisting the foot soldiers in Marchesa’s bourgeoning celebrity army is simply not discussed in polite company. Yet no amount of insider chatter can detract from the critical praise this line has garnered. Combining their signature look of unbridled femininity with a refreshingly modern sensibility, the fledgling label has proven a worthy contender. We look forward to seeing how Marchesa wages its next offensive come Oscar-time when the label takes on titans such as Chanel and Valentino at the biggest red carpet battle of the year.
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Image courtesy of Steve Granitz/WireImage.com