Fashion Under Duress
There were two topics of conversation at the Marchesa show Wednesday night. At one point we were trying to figure out whether we should be alarmed by the wretched odor of hair burning. We were gathered in the Rainbow Room and seated at little cocktail tables when all of a sudden we got a whiff of the awful smell of burning locks. Clearly, something had gone awry with a flat iron backstage. Would a model walk out with scorched extensions?
The other topic of talk was the label Marchesa. It's named after a famous Italian aristocrat, eccentric and party girl, Marchesa Luisa Casati. The line is designed by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. Georgina is the girlfriend of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. So when actresses such as Felicity Huffman and Renee Zellweger wore Marchesa gowns on the red carpet, there was talk that perhaps they chose the dresses under duress from Harvey.
Felicity was wearing a Marchesa gown when she won her Golden Globe for "Transamerica". It was a white gown with a U-shaped harness of silver sparkles. It was a lovely dress and certainly Felicity could have chosen it just because she thought it was pretty. But it's an amusing image, this notion of Harvey strong-arming actresses and telling them you'll never work in this town again if you don't wear the peach dress with the pailettes.
At the show, Harvey called in the troops and the room was sprinkled wih celebrities such as Josh Hartnett, Anne Hathaway and Nicolette Sheridan. The ubiquitous Nicole Richie was there too, honestly looking like a toothpick with mascara.
The clothes -- all couture -- were quite dramatic, with big bows and bustles and draping trains. The collection was inspired by kimonos. Our favorite dress was the one made of paper fans. While we could see an actress choosing to wear one of the other dresses of her own free will, anyone who shows up in public wearing a bunch of paper fans must be hoping that a trip to the Marchesa showroom is a better alternative to the proverbial casting couch.
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Posted by: h3f | February 9, 2006 10:19 AM
Posted by: Ben Abrams | February 10, 2006 7:26 AM
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