This story first appeared in the March 3, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In addition to dressing Octavia Spencer and Olivia Culpo, Chapman wore her own Marchesa creation — a fall gown that was only shown in New York two weeks before — to accompany her husband Harvey Weinstein to Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony on behalf of his film, “Lion,” which he executive produced.
“I’m so proud of ‘Lion’ and Harvey’s work with the film,” Chapman said. “We named our daughter India, so it is a place that will always hold special meaning to us. After we got married I started a foundation that helps children in India and since then I’ve become involved with the nonprofit organization Magic Bus. Through Magic Bus, I’ve been fortunate enough to support the community of Mankhurd in eastern Mumbai and will be visiting on a trip later this year.”
Her work with Magic Bus — and her affinity for the country — made “Lion” hit particularly close to home and led her to walk the carpet at the Oscars, a rare moment for the designer (for those interested in the dress, it can be pre-ordered on Moda Operandi).
“My work with Magic Bus allows me to give back to the families and communities that have contributed to the success of Marchesa,” she said. “We do a lot of our embroideries in India and I’m constantly inspired by the rich culture and the colors; it has had a huge influence on many of our collections. This is a cause that I’m truly passionate about as I have a deep connection with the country. It played an important role in my childhood as my mother’s side of the family lived in India for several generations and my grandmother was born there. I’ve been fascinated with the country since a young age and have traveled there many times since.”
“Lion,” which was up for six awards, did not emerge victorious Sunday, but safe to say, the film isn’t the last of Chapman’s involvement with the film’s country of origin.