story by Lisa Radano
photos by Charles Beckwith
It was nearly sunset in a loft suspended above the Hudson, which sparkled like the flutes of Dom Perignon offered as a gesture of matrimonial indulgence to all of us lucky enough to attend Marchesa’s Fall 2013 Bridal show. Ms. Chapman and Ms. Craig are well known for amply providing the red carpet with their opulent balance of draping and design. Their white carpet is just as glamorous, yet slightly more vulnerable – fragile yet bold at the core.
Cocooned in a gauzy chrysalis, swathed in silk and lace, delicately embroidered and gently studded with pearls and crystals, these brides had a faerie feeling poised against the lusty romance of the bold Bulgarian rose and the frisky iris. Classic silhouettes found a modern and relevant interpretation.
Sheaths were both floor and stylish knee length. Frothy mermaid and lavish ball skirts in clouds of tulle and gazar were offset by a rosebud pouf mini, perfect for marrying a rock star. Audrey, Grace, Cinderella, and even Angelina were all brilliantly channeled as the designers cannily took classic Dior new look shapes, sweetheart necklines and meringue skirts and made them edgy and cool. They also struck an easy balance between sexy and demure with sylphlike slips and baring bodices that were snug to the waist or hip, but gently scattered with flowers, and lace. The sun set and someone pulled back a curtain revealing an even broader view of the magical crimson and fuchsia sky. An embarrassment of riches flooded in from nature and was reciprocated from the runway leaving us dizzy with all the beauty.
I asked Ms. Chapman, if their spiritual muse the Marchesa Casati came to them as a bride, which dress would she recommend to her. “Oh my, I can’t imagine recommending anything to her. No no. She would be telling us what to do. Her beauty was truly fearless.” Here then is Marchesa’s paradigm of a bride and wife to be – fragile to look at, soft to the touch, but nobody’s fool.