24 posts tagged "Georgina Chapman"
After Monday night’s Met Gala, rumors broke that Harvey Weinstein—media mogul and husband to Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman—was in talks to revive the Charles James label, whose founding designer is, of course, the subject of this year’s Costume Institute exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, opening on May 8. I had hoped the rumors were just that, and that James’ artistic legacy would not be muddied by modern interpretations and production pressures. However, Weinstein has now confirmed that he has inked a deal to license the house with the option to buy. “Charles James was one of the most incredible couturiers in the history of fashion, and this label deserves to be a household name in the same ranks as Chanel, Dior, and Oscar de la Renta,” he said in a statement. Ms. Chapman and her brother, Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman, will serve as creative consultants.
No doubt, it will be interesting to see where the trio takes the label, but the revival won’t be easy. In order to honor James’ vision, the new designs will need to be thoroughly forward-thinking, impeccably handcrafted, and not overtly referential. After all, James was obsessed with the future and disapproved of nostalgia. “There is no going back,” he’s quoted as saying. “Study the past to know why, not what, and from the why, dream and do.” Weinstein and the Chapmans will need to heed these words if they’re to bring the brand back with integrity. Here’s hoping the revival succeeds in making James a household name for the right reasons.
I sincerely hope the rumors that broke today about Harvey Weinstein’s plans to revive the house of Charles James are just rumors. According to Page Six, the movie mogul is in talks with James’ children to buy and “breathe new life into the Charles James name.” If the publication’s unnamed sources are to be believed, Weinstein aims to create an “exclusive couture house,” and will bring his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, on as a “creative consultant.” At press time, Weinstein could not be reached for comment.
No one is more thrilled than I that last night’s Met Gala and the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition have helped the public to discover the late great couturier, and given him the recognition he so deserves. And my reservations have nothing to do with Chapman’s skill as a designer—everyone she dressed for the Met bash looked lovely. Rather, my concern is that this will not celebrate, but muddy James’ legacy. James was of a certain era, and if some of the throwback styles we saw on the red carpet yesterday evening are any indication, his aesthetic does not easily translate to modern day. His gowns were works of sculpture, and I fear that if someone were to re-create them—or create wares “inspired” by them—the results will be cartoonish (or worse, mediocre) rather than respectful.
Look at Halston, which was also revived by Weinstein. (He invested in the brand along with Sarah Jessica Parker, but sold his share back in 2011.) Once the go-to label for the crème de la crème of New York’s seventies party scene, Halston’s new age incarnation is but a mid-market mockery of its former glory. Please, Mr. Weinstein, don’t let the same thing happen to James. Allow his brilliant, singular designs to be appreciated for the works of art that they truly are, and don’t attempt to transform his revolutionary mid-century vision into a 21st-century cash cow.
Something old, something new, something Bali, something blue. That was our takeaway from the Spring ’15 bridal collections presented in New York over the last few days. Despite the influx of new labels and big retailers (such as J.Crew and Anthropologie) entering the market in recent years, most women still want a traditional look for their big day, and so there was no shortage of white lace, tulle, beading, and couture-like embellishment on the runways. What has changed is the broader scope of nuptial ceremonies that designers are addressing.
“There are so many different kinds of weddings and so many different types of brides now,” said Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman backstage before her show. “You’ve got classic church weddings, town hall weddings, and destination weddings, but ultimately, the dress should still be beautiful. It should be romantic. It should be ethereal. It should make a bride feel like a princess or a queen for the day.” And so, Marchesa sent out a modern selection of cocktail and tea-length styles in addition to its more familiar confections. Oscar de la Renta also addressed the changing nature of weddings by featuring relatively casual looks, including a cotton eyelet bikini and matching pareo (accessorized with a floral head wreath and lei) that would be ideal for saying “I do” on a beach.
Vera Wang, meanwhile, went unconventional in a different way, debuting her new collection via a short film. No need to be a store buyer or a magazine editor to score a front-row seat. “The opportunity to create a visual and expressive experience of the clothes, as interpreted by my fashion vision, is a whole new way for me to communicate with not only brides, but women everywhere,” Wang said in a statement.
Leave it to Vera Wang to electrify the Fall ’14 bridal season with a veritable rainbow of high-impact pink gowns. “It was very ironic, I thought, to show pink for winter, and I wanted to explore ultimate femininity—but with an edge,” offered the designer of her blush, rosebud, and coral wares. Wang, who in the past has shown bridal looks in bloodred and black, was influenced by the “glamour of old Dior,” but she modernized that concept via strictly draped bodices, thoughtful beading, and blossoming origami flower embellishments, which sat on the skirts of full tulle options or mermaid silhouettes.
Carolina Herrera also turned out a nontraditional collection—though hers broke the mold in length, not hue. “I got married the second time in a short dress,” said Herrera. “I’ve been going to a lot of weddings lately, and I see the brides wearing long gowns for the ceremony, and suddenly they change into a short one. So I thought, why not short?” she said of her knee- and tea-length frocks. Don’t mistake short for simple, though—sequins, elaborate floral appliqués, lace, feathers, pearls, and moonstone all made an appearance in the range, as did pockets, which gave the dresses a fresh, youthful feel. Don’t fret, traditional brides; most of the gowns are available for order in full-length styles as well.
Short cocktail dresses turned up at Marchesa, too. Inspired by The Secret Garden, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig’s Fall outing was positively enchanting, and included scads of chantilly, point d’esprit, handmade floral appliqués, and pearl-studded tulle. The pair also offered longer gowns with trumpet skirts and delicate lace sleeves, which were terrific options for those wanting a classic look. Continue Reading “Short Stuff and Pretty Pinks: Fall ’14 Bridal Breaks The Mold” »