INTERVIEW WITH GEORGINA CHAPMAN OF MARCHESA VOYAGE (INSPIRATION, INFLUENCES, DESIGN PROCESS)

What are some of your earliest memories in fashion or with the idea of dressing up?

  • -My mother is extremely stylish, so I think a love of fashion was something I developed at a young age
  • -She was always taking me to exhibitions. She always allowed me to experiment.
You started working as a costume designer and you now design these very elaborate special occasion pieces—can you talk a bit about this?
  • -I was always into dramatic looks, even when I was younger
  • -I began as a costume designer, so fancy is my normal. I’ve always been a romantic and enjoy the escapist nature of evening wear.
  • -Costume design instilled in me the importance of attention to detail and draping which carries throughout the Marchesa collections
The name for Marchesa comes from the eccentric heiress Marchesa Luisa Casati—can you talk a bit more about this? Are there any other women you consider style icons?
  • -Marchesa Casati was a living work of art who created a persona primarily through the things she wore.
  • -The ability to transform oneself through fashion is a never ending source of inspiration and we are proud to play a role in helping women feel excited about the way they look
  • -Isabella Blow also played a significant role in helping me start Marchesa and I consider her to be a style icon
  • -She was also the one who encouraged me to focus on eveningwear and build a brand around it
You design in tandem with your partner Keren Craig. What is the design process like for you both? How do you work together?
  • -When we first met as students, we instantly realized how much we had in common—most importantly the same passions for travel and design
  • -We also learned quickly that we complemented each other well, since we both have our individual areas of expertise and interest
  • -Keren was always intrigued by fine art and has amazing technical skills and abilities, whereas I have always gravitated toward creating in the moment, which is why I often start my designs by draping on a bust form.
When you sit down to design each season where do you find inspiration?
  • -I find inspiration in so many different places – whether a piece of art or a film or a book I may be reading.
When you and Keren start designing each season would you say you have a certain kind of woman you design for? If so, what are some of her characteristics and qualities?
  • -The Marchesa woman is feminine, confident, and sophisticated
  • -She is also someone who enjoys the transformative power of eveningwear and is not dictated by trends
What is it that you love the most about being a designer in New York City?
  • -I take influences from all my surroundings and travels
  • -There is such dynamic energy in New York, its hard not to be influenced it every day
  • -I love living in New York and enjoy the diversity it offers