From dressing red-carpet royalty to designing critically acclaimed runway collections, Georgina Chapman of Marchesa is an expert on the statement gown. Along with fellow designer Keren Craig, Chapman recently celebrated Marchesa's 10th anniversary by bringing their runway show home to their native London. We sat down with the designer to hear all about her design process, her love of bridal, and Marchesa's newest venture — a fine jewelry line featuring engagement rings, wedding bands, and other bridal jewelry.
In Georgina's eyes, a wedding dress and red-carpet look have a lot in common.
"A wedding dress is perhaps the most significant dress a woman will ever wear!" says Champan. "I approach the design of my bridal collections the same way that I approach any of my collections, as the process is quite similar to that of a dress destined to be worn by an A-list celebrity." In fact, the designer notes that some brides opt to order dresses from Marchesa's other collections, saying, "Some of the pieces I design for our couture and ready-to-wear collections can easily translate into a wedding gown, and there are definitely some women out there who are willing to take risks with their wedding gown and chose this route."
Style and comfort are key on your wedding day.
"Every bride is different, and each season we try to offer a wide range of silhouettes from an empire-waist gown to long-sleeve dresses to cocktail-length looks," the designer explains. "Most importantly, I am a huge believer in the importance of comfort. You'll never be able to enjoy yourself or feel your best if you're not comfortable; it's important to be able to sit, move and dance comfortably in your wedding dress and I keep all of this in mind while designing our bridal collections."
Photo: Courtesy of Marchesa
Marchesa has dressed everyone from Sandra Bullock and Blake Lively to Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kerry Washington, and yet, there's still one woman the designers dream of dressing.
"I think it would be such an honor and challenge to design for the namesake of our brand, Marchesa Luisa de Casati," said Chapman. "She was a true eccentric; incredibly dramatic and playful, fearless about fashion. Her spirit is the guiding inspiration behind our brand, and the essence of her lives on through our collections."
__Marchesa has some exciting, sparkling news — they're launching a fine jewelry line, called The Marchesa Eternal Collection. __
"We've always wanted Marchesa to become a full lifestyle brand, and designing a jewelry collection felt like a natural progression for us," said the designer. "For our first collection we wanted to focus on bridal jewelry because so many of the brides we work with are unsure of what type of jewelry they should wear on their wedding day. They want something simple, but not too traditional, and something that complements their dress but doesn't overwhelm it. We're also often approached by men who are ready to propose and ask our advice on engagements rings — so this collection is for the bride and groom-to-be!"
Marchesa's debut jewelry collection features 20 romantic and vintage-inspired pieces and will be sold exclusively at Macy's stores nationwide and on Macys.com beginning on February 1, with prices ranging from $1,400 to $28,000.