With Oscars on the horizon and Tom Ford prepping for his first-ever Hollywood show, red-carpet gowns might seem stock-in-trade for Marchesa.
But co-designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have grown more sophisticated since their start-up of grand gestures with big — very big — gowns. You could glide gracefully through the door in any of these outfits.
There were also more casual ways of dressing up, especially the cocktail trousers with the back cut away to offer discreet flashes of flesh. Even more skin appeared on slender, fringed silk dresses.
“Decadent and hedonistic, and quite sexy,” said Georgina of her concept for the collection, as two models swooshed through the St Regis hotel in born-for-the-Academy-Awards dresses.
The theme was “Opium nights”, hence poppies as floral decoration. But it might as well have been the Roaring Twenties, since there was a Great Gatsby feel to silvery dresses that formed slim drapery for a shapely body.
The clouds of lilac chiffon and wispy feathers anchored by crystals were deliciously delicate. The design duo has learned on the job after a rather heavy-handed start. But the point is that they have developed a clear spirit — and this was a pretty and subtle collection.