LONDON (AFP) – Marchesa brought red carpet glamour to London Fashion Week on Saturday with romantic gowns in lace and silk embroidered with exquisite floral threadwork, as Julien Macdonald unveiled a multi-million-dollar diamond-encrusted wedding dress.
The luxury label Marchesa normally shows in New York but returned to its British roots for a one-off show to mark its tenth anniversary with a spring/summer collection inspired by “modern-gypsy Woodstock spirit”.
US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, US film producer Harvey Weinstein and British singer Paloma Faith were in the front row as models floated past in a string of knock-out dresses in black, gold, white and fuchsia.
Multi-coloured embroidered flowers trickled across silk tiered ruffles and billowing sleeves, while black silk frocks and dresses were hand-painted with yellow birds.
“It’s a more languid feel but with the detailing, the beadings we always do. We wanted to have an ease to the collection,” said Georgina Chapman, one half of the team behind Marchesa and Weinstein’s wife.
Speaking to AFP backstage at Banqueting House, the royal palace where the show took place beneath a 17th-century Rubens ceiling, Chapman and her partner Keren Craig, both British, said it was “very exciting” to be back.
“We’re back home. It’s 10 years since the inception of Marchesa which we dreamed up here, so it seemed like an appropriate occasion,” Chapman said.
Earlier, London Fashion Week regular Julien Macdonald wowed the crowd with a wedding dress embroidered with diamonds and pearls that he said was worth more than £4 million ($6.5 million, 1.3 million euros).
It was the finale of a collection of slim-fitting dresses with bold patterns incorporating flower and tattoo shapes, showcased in the conservatory of the Royal Opera House.
“My bride is a mermaid that swims in the sea, covered in treasure,” Macdonald said, explaining the inspiration for the wedding gown.
“She takes the buried treasure and translates it into her dream ethereal wedding dress – diamonds, pearls, expense, lace, glamour.
“It’s the most important day of a woman’s life and why not have the most expensive dress in the world?”
London Fashion Week continues on Sunday with shows by Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label, Mary Katrantzou, Topshop Unique, Paul Smith and Jonathan Saunders.