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The Marchesa fall/winter 2013-2014 show took place last night at a grand location, the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library right next to fashion week’s old locale, Bryant Park.
We were told the collection, designed by Georgina Chapman, drew inspiration from Francisco de Goya’s Portrait of Maria Teresa de Vallabriga on Horseback. The painting depicts a poised woman riding a white horse in a full-length, black satin jacket and dress. Her collar overflows with white lace and the hem of her coat and her saddle is exquisitely embroidered. It is 18th-century equestrian eveningwear and we can see why it piqued the interest of Marchesa’s designers.
Chapman’s reimagining of the portrait included elaborately draped (especially in the back!) riding jackets in bright red and black duchess satin. Feminine structured corsets with floral embroidery in bright hues, golds, and whites were turned slightly demure by layering collared tailored shirts and jackets in satin and gauze.
Several corsets and jackets were paired with cut-off silk wool trousers. Dresses were either mid calf or floor length. One of our favorite gowns surprisingly employed a grey and white striped pattern in raw silk, ending with a white tulle fishtail – the pattern being an overall departure from the solids and embroidery found in almost every other look.
There was also the entirely ethereal grey tulle draped sleeve, one-sided drop shoulder dress with a silver-embroidered bodice. That gorgeous draped sleeve was a motif we totally fell for in other instances, especially in one of the last looks – a black gown with gold leaf-thread embroidery from shoulder to floor-skimming hemline overlaid in folds and folds of black tulle. The dark, layered shadings of Goya’s paintings were all there in that one dress and we were completely transported.