Designers Behind the Dresses: Marchesa

Remember that stunning gold dress Sandra Bullock wore when she took home her first Oscar for The Blind Side? The figure-hugging confection was by none other than Georgina Chapman and Karen Craig, the women behind Marchesa, who launched their first collection in 2004 and have since added bridal offerings to their repertoire, fast becoming one of the industry's most beloved brands.

We chatted with the women behind the collections to get an idea of how they conceive of their dreamy designs - the perfect blend of femininity and high-fashion appeal - how they find inspiration and their tips for brides-to-be.

STYLE: An aesthetic with a romantic appeal
VIP CLIENTS:Blake Lively, Nicole Richie, Cameron Diaz


What’s your favourite dress style?
Every bride is different so we design everything from empire-waist gowns to long-sleeve to cocktail-length. I’m a huge believer in feeling confident in what you’re wearing. You’ll never be able to enjoy yourself or feel at your best if you’re not comfortable. It’s important to be able to sit, move and dance in your gown.

Walk us through your design process.
I start by sourcing inspiration, usually through literature, art, travel, historical references or film. From there I’ll start sketching and draping silhouettes, experimenting with fabrics and thinking about design elements.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest collection?
It’s based on the artist and designer Lila de Nobili (1916 – 2002). Her work is über feminine and romantic so is perfect for bridal. She used an abundance of florals, birds and butterflies both in design and illustration and some of her drawings have a surrealist quality that gives an interesting twist.

How do you keep designs fresh?
I love experimenting with new fabrics. Recently, I used a mix of Chantilly and corded laces, point d’esprit, silk organza and tulle. Next season we will introduce new silhouettes and hues. Think re-embroidered crystal tops layered over tulle bustiers, full-flowing tulle skirts, high-collar peplum jackets and detachable capes paired with delicate lace columns and sheared silk tulle skirts. Our designs always pay homage to our signature aesthetic of grandeur and romance.

Check out our current issue for more of the designers behind your favourite Hollywood gowns and wedding dresses.

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