“With the fall show timed to the day before Valentine’s, in the thick of red-carpet season and not a week after Keren Craig gave birth to her second child — and Georgina Chapman due to give birth in April — the designers had no shortage of reality-based sentimentality from which to draw their creative gusto. They chose Francisco de Goya’s “Portrait of Maria Teresa de Vallabriga on Horseback,” which set the lineup back in the classical grandeur of the 17th century European aristocracy where rich duchesse satin ballgowns ruled. Playing toward flushed feminine types, the designers chose a palette in a range of reds — from blush to burgundy to blood — crafting dramatically constructed gowns and coats with cutaway skirts from that rich duchesse, often traced with regal gold embroidery. On one hand, it’s the fabric of princess dreams; on the other, when used too liberally, it brings to mind fancy drapes. There were instances of both in this collection, with the winners coming from the short or slim school of thought.”
“India. Its vibrant colors, embroidery and love of gold embellishments can be a great way to get the creative juices going. For spring, it informed Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, and boy did they embrace the country in all its glory. In the show notes, the duo cited the Sixties, when the Beatles turned to the Maharishi as their spiritual guru, as their inspiration.
But they approached India so literally — draped dresses with elaborate surface adornments, colorful saris, midriff-exposing ghagra choli — one almost expected an elephant to come down the runway or the models to break into a Bollywood dance number for the finale. That’s not to say the collection didn’t have its high points. Many of the pieces were exquisite, including a languid, white draped gown worn with gold-embroidered illusion tights and the last tulle dress in silver embroidery on Carolyn Murphy.”
“Illusion dresses that appear as if the sequins and lace were embroidered directly on the body are nothing new at Marchesa, but the designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig took a turn this season that you could call macabre, or you could call McQueen.
A to-the-floor dress of panels of hand-stitched black lace revealed, as the model walked by, that she was also wearing a bodysuit embroidered with a life-size skeleton in silver beads.
On her arm, you could make out the humerus, radius and ulna, and on her back were ribs and vertebrae. It was like a fashion X-ray.
There were also some new shorter dresses, a welcome development from Marchesa, like a tough laser-cut black leather dress with a fluted skirt. Conversely, for evening, they went slightly nuts with the gold lamé, sending out a ball gown so large that it scraped audience members on both sides of the runway. People seemed to love it.”