Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman Describe The ‘Marchesa’ Woman

As you all know I am a huge fan of the amazing dresses and gowns created by Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa.

I was honoured to have the opportunity to interview them recently.

They described the ‘Marchesa’ woman, how they work together, their design principles and I tried to find out what has been their favourite Marchesa red carpet moment.

How would you describe the typical ‘Marchesa’ Woman?
The Marchesa woman is feminine, confident and sophisticated. She is someone who embodies a true sense of identity. She enjoys the transformative power of eveningwear and is not dictated by trends.

How do you – Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig – collaborate when designing a collection?
We work very closely together and feed off each other’s creativity.

What are your basic design principles?
Drama, femininity, and embellishment are some of the signature Marchesa elements, but we never limit ourselves.

Marchesa was named after Marchesa Casati. Do you still find inspiration from the Italian heiress? Or do you find yourself being inspired by many other things? If so please give examples.
Marchesa Luisa Casati was a living work of art in all respects and was so daring and dramatic in the way she dressed – an ideal we strive to achieve in our collections. Of course, we are often inspired by other strong subjects. Our Spring 2011 collection was inspired by the Orientalist period, in which many of the theatric and exotic elements echo the eccentric and bold ideals of our muse.

What does your average day entail?
Loads of time in our design studio! We are both mothers now, so we do our best to balance our design work by spending time with our daughters and families whenever we can.

You design mostly evening wear. Are you considering a daywear collection?
When we started, we were designing for the red carpet, where a dress is only worn once. We love the idea of an everyday girl being able to buy a fabulous red carpet style dress, which is why we developed our Notte by Marchesa line. At the moment we do not have plans to develop sportswear, but we never like to rule anything out.

Which is your preferred season, Spring or Fall?
It is so hard to choose just one! We love the warmth and romantic feel of Spring, but the ability to create dramatic, statement dresses in rich colors is a lovely aspect of the Fall and Winter season.

You’ve designed dresses worn by Blake Lively, Diane Kruger and Gabourey Sidibe. What do you look for in a celebrity when you decide to design a gown for them?
Our favorite women to dress are those who feel comfortable in their own skin, who are willing to take risks and who can carry bold looks with elegance and ease.

Of all the celebrities you have dressed, which red carpet moment stands out for you?
We’re so fortunate to have worked with all the amazing celebrities we’ve dressed – it’d be impossible to choose just one moment.

Does demand for a particular dress rise the day after a celebrity has worn it?
Many of the dresses that you see on the red carpet are gowns which we have specially created for that actress or event; however, we do get calls about dresses, or similar styles, after a gown has appeared on the red carpet.

I’m not sure if there is a celebrity that hasn’t worn a Marchesa gown. Is there someone you would love to dress who hasn’t worn a Marchesa gown yet? Who is she?
Very hard to say, we are always so honored to work with these amazing women and take every opportunity as it comes!

For those out there looking for the perfect gown for a special occasion, what piece of advice would you give them?
Buy something that suits you and makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. If you aren’t comfortable in a dress, you simply won’t look your best. Avoid overtly trendy pieces – you want to be able to invest in something that will still feel relevant years from now. And don’t be afraid to try new styles or necklines, it is always exciting to experiment with your look.

You design bags, jewelery and bridal wear. Is there anything else we can look forward to in the future?
We really love idea of a woman being able to dress in Marchesa from head to toe – I guess you will have to wait and see!

How do you both manage work and motherhood?
We’re very blessed in that we truly love our work, and are surrounded by supportive families who help us balance it all. Being able to bring the kids into the office at times helps, too!

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