It’s true that Georgina Chapman’s eveningwear line, which she started with Keren Craig in 2005, is enchanting for its fairy-tale proportions and lovely details, but the more interesting part of these consistently beautiful clothes may be the craftsmanship. Made in a Chelsea atelier, the dresses — and in the case of Chapman’s striking fall collection, a couple of sleek tuxedo coats with silk inserts — are intricately worked from duchesse satin, tulle, chiffon and organza into swirling sculptural pieces that, in many instances, seem to form a cloud around the body.
Shown in vignettes, this lineup had a whimsical undercurrent, inspired by the dancer and courtesan Lola Montez, whose “satirical circus travels” Chapman referenced. A chic little pink suede dress was appliquéd with paisley flowers; a ruched tulle minidress was densely covered in rosebuds. The designer also brought more vivid color into the fold, such as bright blue and red. Though she often uses the same motifs — pinwheel draping and sheer netting, for example — Chapman manages to make each of her gowns look unique: Stiff tulle layers gave way to a long dramatic skirt on a pale blush strapless one; another was piled with silver embroidery forming stars. Gorgeous indeed.