This is a blog post by Courtney Duke, Fashion Intern at The Modern Disciple.
Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig began their couture and evening wear fashion empire Marchesa in 2004. The two met at Chelsea School of Art and Design in London and bonded over their love for fashion. Chapman began her career as a costume designer and Craig worked as a textile designer before Marchesa. The two are inspired by Madame Gres, Madeline Vionnet, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Marchesa is named after Marchesa Luisa Casati, “a belle époque aristocrat renowned for her flamboyant tastes.” When they started out, they were talked about for having nothing but a whole bunch of money (and no fashion experience). Founded in 2004, the ladies took a risk by creating solely special occasion and red carpet gowns. Chapman and Craig now oversee 12 collections (four for the original Marchesa line, four for Marchesa Notte, two for bridal and two for handbags) as well as the recently launched shoe and jewelry lines.
“We used red-carpet dressing as a marketing tool,” says Chapman, noting that she and Craig saw how the paparazzi and celebrity buzz blogs and publications were upping the ante in terms of fashion coverage. ”We thought if we could get red carpet, people would notice,” she adds. Though those in the industry initially questioned their actual talent and ability, their average client tends to be the stars that grace the red carpet. This includes people such as Halle Berry, Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, Kerry Washington, and many more. Their timeless glamour creations are aimed for women of all ages.
Chapman is cited saying that she and movie producing husband Harry Weinstein typically watch three to four movies a week and the big screen is a huge source of inspiration for her. Though she spends a great deal of time on the red carpet herself, Chapman is not alone in the creative direction of Marchesa. Craig is noted for finding inspirations in her travel. Her 2015 journey to UAE, Dubai and Saudi Arabia was documented for Harper's Bazaar. A tenacious mother and business woman, Craig actually gave birth and attended her own fashion show in the same week. This is one of the greatest reasons we love their brand. Not only are their gowns exquisite and right in line with The Modern Disciple aesthetic, but they are multi-tasking business women who thrive in managing their careers and their homes.
Marchesa’s Fall 2017 Ready to Wear collection feature lace, rainbow-bow embroidery, fringe, and satin all blended together perfectly to make a luxury collection perfect for the red carpet. This collection was inspired by imperial China by the way they pay tribute to bold and extravagant styles.