Dressmaker Marchesa evokes Japanese gardens for spring, summer

Published: Sep, 14 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American label Marchesa transported New York Fashion Week to a Japanese garden on Wednesday with tulle and silk satin gowns graced with golden leaves, rose swirls and 3D petals.

For their spring-summer collection, Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig paid tribute to Bohemian world traveler Aimee Crocker who spent years exploring the Far East a century ago.

“You will see a lot of cherry blossoms,” said Chapman. “You are going to see a lot of sort of obi tie bows but also evoking the romance of the Edwardian era too, so sort of pulling the two together.”

Actress Nina Dobrev, model Shanina Shaik and Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle watched as models paraded the runway to Canadian singer Drake’s “Passionfruit.”

Shoulder-baring cocktail dresses came in silver and ivory tones as well as hues like pale pink and lilac. Corseted gowns sprouted ostrich feathers and pearl strands draped around plunging necklines.

Models present creations from Marchesa SS 2018 collection during New York Fashion Week in New York City, U.S. September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz TEMPLATE OUT

The dressmakers stayed true to their feminine, romantic style, showing delicate gowns with dramatic bows and heavy embroidering.

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But the showstopper was an unexpected shoulder-baring ballgown that took hundreds of hours to make.

“That’s being worked on for so long, I can’t even tell you,” Chapman said. “We dyed all the petals ourselves then we had them stamped, then we had to thread them, and then we were looking at all different colors.”

But the message is far tougher than the fabric as Chapman and Craig, both working mothers, seek to empower women.

“We really believe in the transformative power of dressing,” Craig said. “That when you put something on that you feel amazing in, then you are even kick-ass.”

Reporting by Yahaira Jacquez, Elly Park; Editing by Richard Chang

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