Marchesa goes Goya with her Fall Winter 2013 Collection

Marchesa Luisa Casati was the first female dandy and her spirit lives on in Chapman.

Marchesa is a brand named for an eccentric Italian heiress, Luisa Casati, or to give her a more noble name Luisa, Marquise Casati Stampa di Soncino. She died in 1957, but her spirit survives thanks to designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, whose relationship began when they met at the Chelsea College of Art and who named their beautiful brand after the aristocrat who died in penury.


Chapman and Craig’s elaborate designs, which look like they have slipped out of a Botticelli painting and flowed through a time warp to arrive on a catwalk in New York City. Marchesa’s Renaissance flourishes, Medici-worthy fabrics and craftsmanship always make lesser mortals sigh with avarice.

The Fall-Winter 2013 collection from is no exception. This is fashion on a grand style, for women who never have to worry about their carriage becoming a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight. Chapman is married to movie director Harvey Weinstein, so she could be forgiven for having her needle and thread pointed sharply into the direction of drama and the Oscars.

Sure enough Chapman told USA Today that her inspiration for this collection came from Goya’s Portrait of Maria Teresa de Vallabriga on Horseback, one of the few pieces of fabric on the planet that costs more than a Marchesa gown. Goya’s masterpiece hangs in Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, but despite its storied history Craig has no hesitation in reduced it to a pattern template. “The collection has an equestrian feel with a Spanish vibe and matador trousers. Georgina really played around with the draping,” she says.


The show was held at the New York Public Library, which for those who recall the late-lamented society author Dominic Dunne (Too Much Money was his last novel) is one of those Manhattan institutions that has thrived on high-class snobbery. The collection included black duchess jackets, satin strapless bustier tops and high-collared satin coats, and, be still my beating heart, the most gorgeous evening gowns replete with more golden thread than Henry VIII’s codpiece.

“A lot of the embroidery is taken from matador trousers and jackets,” says Chapman. “You see a lot of threadworks in bright colors.” As they show came to a close Chapman and Craig cheerfully reported that many of the pieces on show were already on their way to Los Angeles by jet for the Academy Awards. This wasn’t a fashion show – it was a dress rehearsal for the Oscars.

Marchesa by Georgina Chapman



奢华时装品牌Marchesa得名于意大利女贵族Marchesa Luisa Casati。她是位个性不羁的名媛,其夸耀奢靡的排场、犀利怪诞的时尚触觉和对艺术的慷慨支持曾让她叱咤欧洲贵族社交圈整整三十年。1957年,这位意大利最富有的女继承人在债务缠身、穷困潦倒中死去,但她为艺术而活的精神却被Georgina Chapman和Keren Craig保存了下来。这对昔日Chelsea College of Art的同窗好友不仅秉承了这位女贵族的时尚哲学,并创建了Marchesa这个精致奢美的品牌。

Casati的一生都提醒着人们华丽眩目的装扮对女性是何等重要——她的存在完美诠释了女版的“Dandy”(好时髦的花花公子)这一概念。Georgina Chapman和Keren Craig的设计光鲜精美,名贵的布料搭配古色古香的花饰堪称一绝,让女性有着“一裙于身,又复何求”之感。身着其作品的模特在秀场上简直是直接从波提切利的画中走出来的。这些2013年秋冬季系列中极尽奢华的盛装俨然是为了走红毯或参加奥斯卡等重大典礼准备的,毕竟Chapman的夫君是大导演Harvey Weinstein。不难想像,这个牌子的衣服只会出现在豪门的衣橱中或是身附魔法的灰姑娘身上。

Chapman在与《USA Today》的采访中透露,这套最新系列创作的灵感来源于戈雅的作品《Portrait of Maria Teresa de Vallabriga on Horseback》,一张世上为数不多的比Marchesa礼裙更值钱的油画。这幅陈列于佛罗伦萨的Galleria degli Uffizi画廊中的1783年的作品,在Craig的独特视角下呈现出别具一格的花纹与裁剪样式。她说:“这系列作品透露着西班牙风情,譬如其中有很多斗牛士的裤子,展现出了骑士的风范。Georgina则在裙摆上下了很多功夫。”时装秀在纽约公共图书馆——上层社会显摆个性、财富的新兴聚集地之 一——中举行。