Marchesa Voyage appeals to the wanderlust in every urbanite’s inner nomad. The line, which previewed pieces from its fall and resort collections last night at Gramercy Terrace, is a contemporary lower-priced offshoot of the much less travel-friendly Marchesa, a label known for its voluminous red-carpet and gala-ready gowns.
Cofounders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig felt a laidback label was a natural next step for their brand, which also encompasses a bridal collection and a handbag line. The moment of realization came in a crunch: “I was packing for a trip, and I thought, ‘I need to fit more things in my suitcase!'” says Chapman. So with practicality in mind, the duo dreamt up a more casual spin on the line. “It’s got a more relaxed attitude,”explains Chapman. “You can wear it everywhere–from the city, to the beach, to the Himalayas,” adds Craig. “Very chic.”
Chapman and Craig preserve the delicate embellishment in Marchesa Voyage that’s integral to their main line’s aesthetic. “I think you’ll see a lot of the original Marchesa’s DNA,” says Craig. Patterns of paisley, birds, and interlaced flora overlaying draped chiffon and fine embroidery certainly recall the ornate mood of Marchesa–the difference is in the packaging. “It’s an easy shape, like a tee-shirt,” describes Chapman. “You can scrunch it up and throw it in a bag and take it away.”
Though flowing fabrics and loose fits give off a bohemian vibe, the line goes beyond standard boho-chic. “There’s a feeling of that in some of the pieces, but for the girl that doesn’t think she’s bohemian, there’s pieces for her world, too,” says Craig. A gypsy-in-New York, they feel, is a more accurate description of the Marchesa Voyage woman. What neighborhood would she live in? “Anywhere! She could live anywhere,” declares Chapman. As gypsies are wont to do.