Marchesa’s dark twisted romance
Going to a show at the New York Public Library feels oh-so-posh. In fact, I’m so excited that I show up 15 minutes early—which is really like 45 minutes in fashion time—and am alone in the room with a fur-clad Anna Wintour for a few terrifying moments. Fortunately movie mogul Harvey Weinstein bounds in with his (three?) children — he’s married to Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman—and breaks the silence. Anna even smiles!
Katie Holmes emerges from backstage, looking ravishing in red lace. I suddenly remember that Marchesa devoted a recent collection to Miss Havisham, the tragic, crazed jilted bride in “Great Expectations,” which makes this literary setting particularly apropos.
The show opens with an exquisite copper, blush and gold “tartan” lace dress, worn with some lethal-looking bronze Louboutins. Indeed, Chapman and her partner Keren Craig have infused every one of these deeply romantic looks with a bit of dark, twisted glamour: a fiery orange ostrich feather skirt comes paired with an black fishnet top; an embellished, bustled turtleneck gets some extra sizzle worn with pair of S&M-tinged lace-up trousers; and a strapless cocktail dress with copper floral detailing is made out of pony hair. The designers were influenced by the Scottish Highlands, but not in the obvious way. Instead of plaid, we have the colors of bonfires and smoky fog, the dramatic draping of a bagpiper’s cloak, the shape of a kilt, though the last look—a billowy, sculptural, off-the-shoulder saffron stunner—evokes the legendary “Spanish” dancer and courtesan Lola Montez more than anything else.
The major trends
Lace, embroidery, gold, feathers, bondage
Classical — this is the library!
What this means for your wardrobe
Alas, unless you have a red carpet premiere coming up, probably nothing.