TALK OF THE GOWN

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST - www.march­esa.com

March­esa (pro­nounced mar-kay-sa), cre­ator of oth­er­worldly gowns and spin­ner of dreams, has cho­sen Dubai as the lo­ca­tion of its first-ever stand-alone bou­tique in the world. Set within the el­e­gant sur­round­ings of Fash­ion Av­enue in The Dubai Mall, the store dis­creetly opened its doors on De­cem­ber 28 last year, but cel­e­brated its of­fi­cial launch last month.

Tak­ing its in­spi­ra­tion from the apart­ments of 1940s Paris, the bou­tique is gen­teel and so­phis­ti­cated, of­fer­ing a neu­tral can­vas against which March­esa’s sig­na­ture evening gowns are al­lowed to shine. The bou­tique car­ries both March­esa and its more ac­ces­si­ble sis­ter la­bel Notte by March­esa.

The two de­sign­ers be­hind the la­bel, Ge­orgina Chap­man and Keren Craig, met while study­ing at the Chelsea Col­lege of Art & De­sign in Lon­don. They re­alised that they had a shared love of glam­our, and com­ple­men­tary skills in cos­tume and em­broi­dery de­sign, so were well placed to cre­ate mag­i­cal evening gowns. In 2004, March­esa was born.

The brand is named for the wildly ec­cen­tric Ital­ian aris­to­crat March­esa Luisa Casati Stampa di Son­cino (1881-1957), a glam­orous so­cialite and pa­tron of the arts. The heiress to a for­tune so vast that she was ru­moured to be one of Italy’s wealth­i­est women, she col­lected art and artists with equal fer­vour, declar­ing her­self to be “a liv­ing work of art”.

Gal­vanised by her colour­ful life, Chap­man and Craig trans­lated di Son­cino’s sto­ries into high-end gowns that were both el­e­gant and fan­ci­ful. Aimed at those with the de­sire to re­ally dress up, March­esa proved it­self per­fect for red-car­pet out­ings, and within two years had earned it­self a place in the top 10 in the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion held by the Coun­cil of Fash­ion De­sign­ers of Amer­ica and Vogue Fash­ion Fund to cul­ti­vate emerg­ing tal­ent.

Of­fer­ing dresses that range from sim­ple sheaths through to show­stop­ping gowns, the new Dubai Mall bou­tique has some­thing to suit most oc­ca­sions. How­ever, where March­esa is in its el­e­ment is at the most grandiose of mo­ments, where only yards and yards of fab­ric will do. With its unique take on the fan­ci­ful, March­esa al­lows its cus­tomers to in­dulge in a sense of the­atre, dress­ing to the nines in bil­low­ing tulle and in­tri­cate em­broi­dery. With huge skirts and nipped-in waists, th­ese are dream­like gowns that speak to the child-princess within ev­ery woman. It is no co­in­ci­dence that Vogue de­scribes March­esa as the cre­ator of “Dis­ney princess” gowns.

March­esa’s spring/sum­mer 2017 fash­ion show in New York saw dresses cre­ated from lay­ers of tulle in om­bré tones, with sheer, shim­mery, barely-there fab­rics. Pre­vi­ous col­lec­tions of­fered cas­cad­ing chif­fon in light-as-a-whis­per clouds, em­bel­lished with hand­cut flow­ers scat­tered as if blown in by the breeze. Mean­while, for its spring/sum­mer 2017 run­way show, March­esa Bri­dal of­fered up Chan­tilly lace col­umn dresses, with puffed sleeves and petals of ivory silk gath­ered in dri s around the mod­els’ feet.

Yes, Cin­derella, you shall go to the ball.

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