September 09, 2008
It was glamour with a capital G at Marchesaand it had nothing to do with Harvey, the line of town cars as far as the eye could see, or the paparazzi buzzing around both the entrance and exit to the Chelsea Art Museum. No, this was all about the 24 exquisite dresses inside, presented in a modern manner with dewy-faced models perched atop glossy white cubes like living artwork, or perhaps young goddessesparticularly apt for a white Grecian gown traced with gold embroidery. Though it was a tight collection, it seemed to cover so many bases: short and spirited in a little ombré fringe number, darkly soigné in an asymmetrical black lace gown, and no-holds-barred belle of the ball in a frothy lilac tulle gown with a spray of orchids crafted, unbelievably, from feathers. There was a subtle thread of the Far East running through, seen most overtly in mandarin collars, an obi belt, and origamilike pleating. But as designer Georgina Chapman explained, she tends to go with her instincts instead of belaboring references. Well, they were dead-on here: It was a best-dressed list from start to finish. A young retail consultant walked out sighing, "Don't these dresses just make you want to be a fairy princess?" Or one better: How about an Oscar-nominated actress? They have a better chance of wearing these dressesif they call their stylists soon, that is.