Marchesa shows elaborate red-carpet creations

February 15, 2012 - 10:45 PM
Fashion Marchesa Fall 2012

Fall 2012 fashion from Marchesa is modeled during Fashion Week, Wednesday, Feb.15, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

NEW YORK (AP) — A-listers, place your orders. Marchesa is now accepting gown requests for the Oscars.

The collection that designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig turned out Wednesday at their New York Fashion Week runway show at the Plaza Hotel had the audience mesmerized — mostly wondering how the models moved in such elaborate creations.

The designers said in their notes that the inspiration was a portrait painting from 1879: William Adolphe Bourgueraus' "A Soul Brought to Heaven."

They had to show a picture of it to have it all make sense, but once the first gown appeared on the runway — a cream-colored, hand-embroidered coat with mermaid-hem pleated tulle gown — the crowd seemed captivated.

From there, they moved into even more elaborate designs, including a champagne-colored gown with feathers that seems to float between the layers of tulle and another strapless feathered dress that looked as if it floated in with the clouds.

"Each dress is my favorite," said Chapman a few days before the show. "You look at something for a while and get used to it, and then the new thing becomes your favorite, but what I love is how it all comes together."

There was little here for the normal folks who go about their daily lives without a red carpet, but one can dream. The concept and craftsmanship Chapman and Craig have evolved is something to marvel at.

It would be a shame if the finale piece, a gown with red embroidery on an otherwise sheer bodice with a high neck and a hand-draped taffeta ballskirt, wasn't seen again.