February 19, 2009

MARCHESA: Fairy Tale Fantasy [NYC Fashion Week Review Fall 2009]

Am I the only one confused? I am grasping for a definition of the over-all feel of the New York collections this season. All I can come up with as a genuine consensus, is a pragmatic mishmash of (often over-styled) looks intended specifically for key customers. A little boring? A little messy? You be the judge.

This does not mean there aren’t some bangin’ designs though.

Some key designers showed collections that lead you deep into fairy tale fantasy. It is a time to escape to our dreams, to enjoy the magical frivolities of parallel worlds.

Designers and fashion lovers alike are thirsty for evening wear. The top dress collection would have to be Marchesa. This design duo has become the American version of Victor and Rolf. Their designs evoke whimsical hallucinations by folding rich colors and manipulating various textures into a deep sonic dreamland.

The collection tells a glittery Hans Christian Anderson/anime-like story that includes characters like intergalactic travelers, Grecian goddesses, morning stars, ice queens, midnight mermaids, origami dolls, lilac puffs and indigo fluffs, fairy princesses and porcelain ballet dancers.


“Oh were I rich! How oft, in youth’s bright hour,
When youthful pleasures banish every care,
I longed for riches but to gain a power,
The sword and plume and uniform to wear!
The riches and the honor came for me;
Yet still my greatest wealth was poverty:
Ah, help and pity me!

“Once in my youthful hours, when gay and free,
A maiden loved me; and her gentle kiss,
Rich in its tender love and purity,
Taught me, alas! too much of earthly bliss.
Dear child! She only thought of youthful glee;
She loved no wealth, but fairy tales and me.
Thou knowest: ah, pity me!

“Oh were I rich! again is all my prayer:
That child is now a woman, fair and free,
As good and beautiful as angels are.
Oh, were I rich in lovers’ poetry,
To tell my fairy tale, love’s richest lore!
But no; I must be silent—I am poor.
Ah, wilt thou pity me?

“Oh were I rich in truth and peace below,
I need not then my poverty bewail.
To thee I dedicate these lines of woe;
Wilt thou not understand the mournful tale?
A leaf on which my sorrows I relate—
Dark story of a darker night of fate.
Ah, bless and pity me!”

– The watchman, (Hans Christian Anderson)

*Other notable collections:

Vivienne Tam                                       Elise Overland

Erin Fetherston                                   Monique Lhullier

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