Imperial China set the mood for Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig this season. With the caveat that it was “just a nod” to the era, Chapman said they ultimately aimed to draw from the empire’s grand opulence while fusing it with Marchesa’s soft, sensual romance. “We mixed in new color stories that we haven’t done before,” added Craig, highlighting the use of chartreuse and red mixed with pastels. “And we had a lot of fun.”
The show’s opening gown — a cap-sleeve, black Chantilly lace column covered in floral embroidery with a long skirt made from rainbow tassel fringe — was straight out of the Qing dynasty. A more delicate version trotted down the runway soon after, this one with a sheer, plunging neckline bodice and long, romantic sleeves with the same rainbow fringe used as trim. A strapless chartreuse gown in silk mikado with floral-patterned bugle beading at the bust certainly captured Shanghai glamour. And an ankle-length tulle gown covered in 3-D feathered floral appliqués was breathtaking. Oversize bows decorated the lineup throughout; a wink, Craig said, to the Fifties.
Overall, the lineup wasn’t necessarily cohesive or fresh, but it should serve Marchesa’s red-carpet starlets just as well. Several of them — Mandy Moore, Petra Nemcova, Coco Rocha, Olivia Culpo — looked on with awe from the front row.