Marchesa Fall 2014 Collection

Posted on February 13, 2014

Marchesa’s always one of the last shows of our Fashion Week schedule and it never fails to provide a perfectly sublime capper to the week.  In typical Marchesa fashion, the inspiration for this collection was something outrageously romantic and vivid; in this case, “Visions of billowing bonfires, sweeping through the Scottish Highlands.” God bless those ladies, they really know how to dream up a concept. And also in typical Marchesa fashion, the results were elegant, exuberant, and at times, breathtakingly romantic, like living heroines of epic novels walking the runway right in front of us.







[Photo Credit: IMAXtree]

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  • JimMcC

    Cornrows on white chicks. DO NOT WANT.

    • MaggieMae

      Only on little girls, on vacation in Mexico.

    • boweryboy

      Yeah. Who thought that was a good idea?

    • Gatto Nero

      The parts in the hair are (I think) supposed to mirror the lines in the clothes. But they should have achieved this effect some other way.

    • kt

      is that a vote for cornrows on the ladies of asian descent?

    • BeeBeauNYC

      I found the cornrows were distracting me from the dresses!

    • tereliz

      It’s weird that they’re only being worn by some of the models and not the majority. I thought some other show had models with center cornrows too, but it wasn’t the same day, so it couldn’t have been a case of “just leave it as is”, it had to be a conscious decision. TWICE. *flummoxed*

    • kimmeister

      I think they would be more successful on light skinned people with blond hair, since there isn’t as much of a color contrast. I attempted cornrows once (as a preteen), and as a light-skinned Asian with black hair, all you could see was shockingly bright scalp, and I looked bald. Not a good look.

    • mariahwg

      Also, the inspiration was Scottish highlands and they had like one ginger. It doesn’t have to be super literal, but FYI, we are the only ones who can rock that particular shade of greenish yellow.

  • Carleenml

    As usual, I hate them, but I am really excited about the overall silhouette and skirt lengths that are showing everywhere for fall. My kind of shapes for my kind of shape.

  • I love a good romantic look, but a lot of this looks over thought, over worked and in some cases clumsily proportioned. That said there are a few things here that are really sublime

    • princessricky

      i believe you just defined the marchesa aesthetic for every season for ever and ever amen.

  • @Biting Panda

    Undeniably romantic. Though the word that most often came to mind was “itchy”.

    • StellaZafella

      “Itchy” and “romantic” in the same sentence puts one in mind of something one might catch…and need painful treatments for.
      (Spoken in the voice of Maggie Smith)

  • Less white lace and tulle than usual. Some, on the right ladystar, could be beautiful on the red carpet.

  • sienna elm

    OH!!! That slinky, shiny mustard gown (11th down) on Lupita please…please!

  • clatie

    I really don’t “get” Marchesa. I love drama – but there’s never a clean line. Their clothes always strike me as elaborately swaddled, like they just keep wrapping and wrapping and adding and foofing everything up.

    And the cornrows are unspeakable.

    • Gatto Nero

      Yes. The drama strikes me as dishonestly achieved.
      It’s more like shock, at the sheer too-muchness of it.

    • Carleenml

      yes, swaddled! love the word for their forever inspiration. meh.

    • Megan Kennedy

      Exactly! It reminds me of when me and my sisters would play dressup as kids, and swaddle ourselves in every shiny, billowy, lacy, glittery fabric we could get our hands on. I wonder if that’s their process?

      • clatie

        It wouldn’t surprise me. It sounds like a lot of fun, though!

      • FrigidDiva

        I used to do that whenever I watched Gone with the Wind with my grandmother. I’d find whatever sheets and curtains were around and try to make hoop skirts like Scarlett lol.

  • Imasewsure

    I like the mustard color fabric I think but I’m not sure who could carry it. The last red dress is beautiful and I like the full skirted black gown following it. That’s a lot of like for me for Marchesa!!

    • mariahwg

      Mustard is for gingers. The theme was Scottish highlands. You’d have thought they’d have made the connection.

  • frannyprof

    Do not love this collection. The “beautiful Georgina Chapman” disappoints.

    • Gatto Nero

      As usual. A design house with loads of financial backing and no taste.

  • Unfortunately I can’t convince myself that this is faux fur. I really love the colour palette but not the shapes and I have a vision of my mother doing me a favour and ironing the first one…

    • JauntyJohn

      And the silver fur one about 8 shots down… I’m sorry, but it looks like she’s wearing it backwards.

    • demidaemon

      How did you feel about the shades of yellow here? I personally did not really like them.

      • Love them. They remind me of a velvet sofa my grandmother used to have.

        • demidaemon

          Hmm, well, I can’t argue with that, though I still dislike them.

          • It’s not a colour I can wear, but seeing it as a whole with the flaming orange, burgundy and that muted blue I think they work very well. You could decorate a house in those tones and it wouldn’t clash.

          • demidaemon

            I like these colors better for interior decorating than for fashion.

          • kimmeister

            I have a mustard yellow accent wall in my kitchen. It looks fabulous. On me, it would look like death warmed over.

          • demidaemon

            I was thinking it take a very particular woman to pull these off. Maybe Lupita could. I’d have to see it on her, but these seem a bit too frou-frou for her general taste.

        • fursa_saida

          I love them too, though there is no sofa in my past. Saffron-y and ochre-y shades of yellow are underused, IMO. (Yes, I know they don’t look good on everyone, but neither does forest green or bright orange, and we see those much more often.)

        • Carrps

          MY mom had a cut velvet sofa/loveseat combo in that color WITH some olive-y green mixed in. Very 70s.

      • Gatto Nero

        Burned retinas.

  • carnush

    The orange column on Cate Blanchett for the Oscars.

    • AzSportsGirl

      I voted Elizabeth Banks – I want somehow *more* for Cate….

  • 8daysaweek

    I will pay real America dollars to see that orangey-red number, third from the bottom, on Lupita Nyong’o.

    • VioletFem

      You beat me to it! I just commented the same thing. This dress would look amazing on Lupita when she (hopefully, fingers crossed) wins her Oscar.

  • Diego!

    OMG… stunning!! I can see lots of stars wearing some of these dresses on the RC at the Oscars!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Yes, that is definitely a Marchesa collection.

  • Mimi

    I LOVE the makeup. Everything else, not so much.

  • boweryboy

    As always, I like the idea of the dresses but not the execution. Marchesa, dial it back a few notches. Please.

  • VioletFem

    I typically find that Marchesa gowns are often overworked and a little too frilly for my taste, and some of these elements are still quite apparent in this collection. However, there are a few standout dresses here in which the Marchesa aesthetic really works: dresses 2, 10 12 and 13. My favorite dress from this collection is the orange gown (3rd from the bottom) which I think would look stunning on Lupita.

  • Frank_821

    The outfits are dramatic. the styling is horrendous

  • marlie

    There are a couple of very pretty dresses and gowns, and the colors are gorgeous, but many pieces are a little over-designed (in typical Marchesa fashion), or aren’t the most flattering shapes. I wouldn’t be surprised if something from this collection ended up on the Oscars red carpet, but I worry about the execution.

    • 13/13 would be good for KStew, since I assume she has to go to the Oscars but isn’t nominated for anything (and I can’t imagine they’d ask her to present).

  • PastryGoddess

    I am not buying what they are selling

  • Blair Sylvester

    I hate most of this . Derivative, unflattering, and overworked. When in doubt tack shit onto it . Glad they used fewer sheers this go round and it also looks less fungus growing in a Petri dish than usual

    • TropiCarla

      You ain’t kidding.

      I came down here to post: “It’s too bad about the fungus.”

      But clearly it’s not as bad as it could have been. smh

      • Blair Sylvester

        The sad thing is when they keep it simple sometimes they land on pretty and romantic without looking like Ms Havisham

    • Jessica Freeman

      “When in doubt tack shit onto it” is probably painted on the work room wall at Marchesa Headquarters.

      • Blair Sylvester

        Painted ? More like lace letters with hundreds of bows and sequins and sheer streamers

        • demidaemon


    • kirkyo

      I’m having the most problems with the two that look like satin wrap skirts around body suits and the orange feather skirt with the fishnet top. The latter seems out of place with the rest of the collection.

    • scoobynacks

      The one with the ribbon on the left shoulder makes it look like she won a prize at the Bride of Frankenstein look-a-like contest. She’d have won it if she’d gone with the Franken-fro instead of the cornrows.

    • FrigidDiva

      That’s what that sheer looks like! I was trying to decide if they were trying to make it look like a bog or peat or something to coincide with the Scottish aspect of their inspiration.

  • Nikko Viquiera

    uhm. NO. The gorgeous Georgina should have heads chopped off.

  • MilaXX

    I lie a lot of this, but I’m thrown off by the styling. I’m not crazy about the shoes, and I don’t understand the cornrolls. That muppet dress looks like a giant baby bottle scrubber. On the other hand, I really like a lot of these dresses. I think that burnt orange toward the end may be my favorite.

  • lamamu

    I understand the stated theme of the show, but I see little that links the dresses together visually into a unified theme. They look like hodgepodge of looks lifted from other designers. I see a sprinkling of Chanel here, a dash of Vivienne Westwood there…here some Reem Acra, there some Valentino…

  • Adrianna Grężak

    Even though not everything is my taste, I can always appreciate the fantasy these garmets conjure

  • DinaSews

    They should have had all the models wave and smile at the audience like princesses. It might have distracted the audience from these fussy gowns.

  • Rand Ortega

    This collection reminds me of a film I just saw at a screening Tuesday night called, “A Winter’s Tale”. Complete Victorian romanticism.

    • Qitkat

      Was it worth seeing, really? The plot sounds so convoluted.

      • Rand Ortega

        Well…you’re right. The plot is a bit squishy (& from a nitpicking filmmakers standpoint, the editing is BIZARRE). But besides “In Bruges”, it’s the best role I’ve seen for Colin Ferrell. He really is quite good. And there are some great cameos. If you’d like an old fashioned love story that’s a little different on Valentines Day, this will fit the bill.

        • Qitkat

          Thanks. Too bad the only movie I’m likely to see on V Day, is the Lego movie , with four and seven year old grandsons.
          *excited* /sarcasm/

          • formerlyAnon

            A friend who took her son last week recommended I go see it, so either she questions my maturity (possible!) or it may be enjoyable.

  • Qitkat

    After just posting how much I hate shiny satin, I come here and discover two GORGEOUS gowns in the despised fabric which I love, the second deep gold column gown, and the deep orange gown which I agree with everyone else would look stunning on Lupita Nyong’o.

    The rest however, mostly belong on the cover of a bodice-ripper paperback titled ‘The Bonfires of the Highlands.’

  • Kate4queen

    I’ll take the one with the gold top and black skirt near the end please, but otherwise not terribly impressed. All covered up to the neck, not flattering on most of us with boobs.

  • Jessica Freeman

    I can’t even with the visions of bonfires in the Highlands. I only see the connection in some of the pieces. There are some really fantastic pieces in here. I am actually waiting for the red carpet disasters that Marchesa inspires.

  • Anna

    I continue to be baffled by Marchesa’s popularity.

    • omg_dora

      They used to rock a few years ago. Maybe eight years ago? I’m not really an expert but I do remember when they just got famous they made these beautiful draped chiffon dresses in colors you wanted to EAT. Perfect red carpet gowns. Then they decided to make stuff that’s more creative and intelligent, I guess, and ran into the problem of how they don’t have creativity and intelligence.

      • Anna

        Yeah, I didn’t mind them in the beginning. But more often than not, I think either retired figure skater or future stagewear for Carrie Underwood’s residency at Caesar’s Palace.

        • I can’t help but think Harvey Weinstein has been instrumental in making fetch happen.

          • Anna

            The Marchesa Conspiracy! Lady stars sacrifice what they actually want to wear (presumably/hopefully something better) for opportunities to keep working with Harvey and win Oscars.

  • Danielle

    Of course.

  • DaringMiss

    Those are some of the ugliest dresses I have seen on the runway in ages. Gorgeous fabrics employed in the worst way. Each piece looks like there was one great idea there and then a group of monkeys came in and finished it.

    • Pennymac

      Laughed out loud. For reals. In my head I saw the monkeys from Jumanji in a sewing room.

  • unbornfawn

    The word that came to mind was, overwrought. Many of these look ready for the cover of romance novels. Still, that is not to say there is some pretty here.

  • Gatto Nero

    So overwrought. That first shot is nausea-inducing.
    But a lot of ladystars will drink the Kool-Aid.

  • sagecreek

    And Scots everywhere are murmuring, “Nae, lassie, tha’ll not get away wi’ pinnin’ them folderols on us.”

    • Gatto Nero

      When I think of the Highlands, I think Tilda. And she’s having none of this.

    • formerlyAnon


    • Corsetmaker

      Is that Yorkshire Scots? LOL! 😉

      • sagecreek

        It’s the rare and little-documented Central Texas variant. 🙂

        • SierraDelta

          Alright, BKs — I’ve spent way too much time today unintentionally spraying my computer with tea. Please, I beg of you — stop being so damn funny!

  • ballerinawithagun

    The white ball gown is hilarious! The belt/sash looks like the model was ready to walk and Georgina said I need a sash, they tore some of the black fire retardant drape down, ripped a piece off and tied it around her. I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell off before the end of the runway.
    I want those gray suede boots and the gray sequin leggings please.

  • msdamselfly

    The first two gowns (including the golden one) were gorgeous. After that, been there -done that.

  • formerlyAnon

    I do not like them, Sam I am. I do not like this fluff, no ma’am.

    But I would drape my walls in that flame colored satin in #21. It, alone is worth price of admission

    • Lattis

      That made me laugh!
      Usually I am in the “I do not like them, Sam I am” class when it comes to Marchesa. But, I am mesmerized by that “flame colored satin.” When I was a little kid we had a dress-up box and one of my favorite things in it was a flared skirt panel made of a similar fabric. It was a glorious cape.

  • DTLAFamilies

    Nobody’s going to comment on the sparkly bodysuit with a blue satin curtain wrapped around the waist? I almost jumped out of my chair when I saw that.

    • formerlyAnon

      Just simply describing it says all that needs saying, doesn’t it?

    • SierraDelta

      Well, that’s a heretofore unknown way to keep a slit from being gasp inducing.

  • Anne

    The one second from the bottom with the empire waist and the cap sleeves is so glorious. Also, I don’t think I could ever wear that bright marigold color, but those dresses just look so lush!

  • SugarSnap108

    I don’t see romance. I see overdone to the point of being tacky.

    Or … Perhaps I know not of true romance. Perhaps it has yet to sweep o’er me like the billowing bonfires of the Scottish Highlands.

    • formerlyAnon

      Ah SugarSnap, misleadingly delicate flower of the Highlands! Hold fast to the strength with which you stand in the winds upon which the smoke of those bonfires rises to paint the sky. The broad shouldered, honest garment of your dreams shall appear, striding through the lacy, ruffled knee high growth of the runways held in fief by upstart Clan Marchesa. Its clear eyed gaze and guileless countenance will soothe your tortured retinas, while strange tremors of emotion yet unnamed arise in your heart.

      • SugarSnap108

        Sounds good!

  • shopgirl716

    Several of the pieces look overworked, IMHO. Love the second dress from the bottom.

  • omg_dora

    With all the satin and chiffon and beading and texture and the lovely colors, you’d think there would be a sense of elegance and richness. Instead most of these dresses just feel messy, random and unpleasant. No taste or a sense of balance and proportion anywhere.

  • KinoEye

    Really loving the beaded tights in photo 9. MINE!

  • Nicole Little

    There is something very likeable in each look… too bad there is also some element that overdoes or ruins each look. Ah Marchesa, never change. Or, you know, edit out some elements and change drastically. Either way.

  • demidaemon

    Some of this looks really old, like 18th-19th century old. When TLO said it looked like heroines of novels, my mind went immediately to historical romance covers. That’s exactly what about half of this is, and I do not feel it is a compliment. Also, that mustard yellow is really unappealing and extraordinarily difficult to wear. I love about half of this collection, the half with the more modern silhouettes.

  • Well I wanted to see Jessica Chastain in the header look until I saw the whole thing. Maybe if they tailored the hip area of the skirt to fit a bit closer. Then again, that’s a dress that might benefit from being on a curvy actress’ body, since the model is a bit lost and overwhelmed in it. 19th century looks cry for 19th century proportions. The rest of the collection was pretty intriguing until it went off the rails around that first black lace dress. Some really gorgeous fabrics in the lighter dresses, evocative of moss, heather, underbrush (in a pretty way.) I want someone fun to try and pull of that shorn muppet/fishnet concoction. I can see Cate channeling Elizabeth in the slim gold satin with the beaded yoke. I can see Flo in the third look (not counting the header) with the high neck. Scottish bonfires and Florence Welch belong together.

  • AzSportsGirl

    The burnt orange sheath with the jewel encrusted bodice and the draped fabric subtly calls to the tradition of sashed tartan without being too literal. I’ll defer to
    Kiltdntiltd if I’m wrong in my interpretation. I also think Elizabeth Banks would be amazing in this.

  • AzSportsGirl

    The bodice on that balck velvet (I thin it’s velvet) ball gown is amazing.

  • AzSportsGirl

    And finally — what I am going to call the ChainMail dress is gorgeous. Although the waist seam seems a bit wonky?

  • Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

    Love the burgundy gown…hate most of the shoes. These need to be worn by women with some age.

  • cmb92191

    The cream colored on with bronze/copper details – I like. The orange one is also good on the right person.. but the rest is a big ol’ WTH? The cornrows- unless they all just got off a Jamaican cruise there is no reason for that!

  • Synnamin

    Some beautiful pieces, but… I can’t with Marchesa any more. I’ve moved into Irrational Hate Syndrome with the brand (even though I j’adore that mustard beaded gown at the end)

    • formerlyAnon

      Welcome! I am not sure if it is BrooklynBomber or GorgeousThings, but I believe one of the two manages membership in the Die Marchesa Die! club. You will no doubt receive your official welcome shortly.

  • Lori

    As always, my feeling about Marchesa is: too damn much going on. Also, “Visions of billowing bonfires, sweeping through the Scottish Highlands”? WTH? Bonfires don’t sweep through anything. They are by definition controlled.

    • I interpreted the “sweeping” part as when the winds blow and the whole flame sweeps to the side with little licks breaking off and shower of sparks.

      • Lori

        But that wouldn’t be “through the Highlands.”

        • understateddiva

          yeah, a bonfire that sweeps and billows is a wildfire, destroying the Scottish highlands. It’s like they just put a bunch of romantic-sounding words together. But my indifference to the brand is probably showing.

          • Gatto Nero

            A bonfire sweeping through this collection would be very satisfying.

  • EveEve

    Apparently, one had to be there. Their vision of Scottish Highlands and billowing bonfires isn’t exactly in focus from where I sit.

  • Little_Olive

    What a load of “almost”.

  • Nancer

    Tortured. That’s the only word that comes to mind.

  • Kent Roby

    The last half of these looks get better, but I am generally not liking this collection. The all-white dress looks really cheap to me, and I particularly dislike that mauve/grey itchy-looking fabric. The looks that work best IMO are the fairly-basic ball gowns and that superb red Indian-inspired number; it’s the one real stand-out to me.

  • Corsetmaker

    Billowing bonfires? Scottish Highlands? I see some vaguely flame colours, I don’t see anything vaguely Highland!

    • I thought the random ribbon corsages pinned on the shoulders of some of them were a nod to the brooches that sometimes pin tartan sashes when people are going the full Walter Scott chocolate box. But it is a longshot!

  • Sally3000

    Perhaps an attempt to update the old oil painting look with cornrows and sheer pubic panels? Is that what I’m seeing?

  • colorjunky

    like the red off the shoulder look, it’s the least marchessaish

  • vickilu


  • Trickytrisha

    I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t like most of these. Probably the muddy colors and over use of “dramatic” draping. Not seeing a single piece that really sings.

  • Hoffa_w_HerHead

    Okay if TLo liked this, them I’m guessing they just decided to not say anything bad about the runway shows this year. Fair enough! Typical show- won’t translate well to the red carpet either!

    • I don’t think during fashion week, when they are actually in attendance, is the best time to try to provide a detailed critique of the collections – and I can see that this show would have major impact.

  • Stacy C

    I usually end up mostly on the side of like for Marchesa collections.. but this one is… blech.

  • TigerLaverada

    Personally, I think they just designed some stuff and then tacked a romantic-y “inspiration” onto it for the show. Scottish highlands, riiiiight.

  • rebeemoon

    Lovely dresses. But the models could have used a little color, if you know what I mean. Otherwise, what are you communicating about your line?

    • THEY’VE GOT CORNROWS, HOW MUCH MORE DIVERSE CAN YOU GET? 😉 It’s a particularly odd/unfortunate decision when some of those colours really would look their best on dark skinned models.

  • Most of these dresses gave me chills, there are absolutely divine. There are one or two clunkers in there, but even the ones less structured have gorgeous color. I don’t get the cornrows on some of the models, tho.

  • Carly Clement

    I am a bit disappointed…. those golds are hideous and are almost unwearable! and the collection itself didn’t wow me because most of the outfits look like they need to be tweaked in some way…. disappointed 🙁

  • Deedles

    Hmmmm… Too damn much roadkill for my tastes.

  • quiltrx

    I’m usually a Marchesa fan, but I really don’t care for this collection much. I *almost* like the one with the black and white appliqued flowers, and the mesh one above it. The rest I can live without.

  • ankali

    Wow, I really dig a lot of this. Not so much with the silvery-lace-smoke-smudged dresses (what is it with Marchesa and wanting to make their dresses look like fungus is growing on them?), but almost all of the rest of the looks. The mustard gowns are gorgeous, and I really like the quirk and detail throughout.

    Jesus, am I feverish?

  • MannahattaMamma

    shit damn those are beautiful.

  • amaranth16

    Oh my god, that mustard-gold one about halfway down – the satin one with the high neck and embellished yoke – made me gay-gasp. And I’m not even gay.

  • kategs

    I know I get distracted easily but between the horrendous hair and those fabulous leopard boots in every photo, I barely saw the clothing!

  • RescueMe23

    Stop with the fur already! NO. NO. NO!

  • GillianHolroyd

    The slim, burnt orange gown is sublime.

  • anotherkate

    The braids are a fright, and that mustard yellow looks good on very few complexions. To render it in satin? Not ideal. I liked the orangey reds and the deep blues, although is it my eyes or did some of these read more “Indian bride” than “Scottish highlands”? I don’t know. This one didn’t blow me away.