Markarian designer Alexandra O’Neill made her New York Fashion Week debut with a “Jane-Austen-meets-Laura-Ashley” themed spring collection. Her ethereal party dresses with custom floral embroideries channeled Austen, while matching accessories, a new category for the brand, mimicked Ashley. One standout was a white cotton poplin dress with custom red and gold embroidered flowers worn with a matching belt, miniature top-handle box bag and sandals. Beautiful gowns were aplenty, like a peach sequined corset bias dress with grosgrain trim; a light yellow, floral jacquard number and the brand’s best-selling corset dress that was updated with velvet bow details on the shoulders. For spring, O’Neill expanded into daywear with playful suiting separates with rhinestone trim, printed minidresses and skirts, playful tops and cotton-blend jackets to match the dresses.
“Business has been great,” reported O’Neill, who launched her line in spring 2017. “There definitely was a little gap in the market for these really good, easy party dresses with an easy fit — something that was still whimsical and fun that didn’t take itself too seriously.“ Aside from her impressive 35-look spring collection, O’Neill has an even bigger future goal: The first Markarian bridal collection is in the works for October. Additionally, the line, which has been exclusive to Moda Operandi from the start, will be available at Selfridges and the Webster come fall.