Bedecked with jewelry that was neither gold nor silver, but live snakes, dining with wax figures (rumored to contain the ashes of past lovers) and ritually walking cheetahs on diamond studded leashes — to say that Marchesa Luisa Casati was scandalous would be an understatement. As a muse she employed her status as Europe’s most notorious celebrity to inspire artists, poets and fashion designers and last week she made a striking appearance at the Golden Globes.
Acting as the inspirational force behind John Galliano’s 1998 spring/summer line (two of which were displayed during winter 2001 at a fashion exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), Italian designer Marco Coretti’s fall winter 2003 collection, and Tom Ford’s spring/summer 2004 collection for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Casati has been a lasting iconic image for haute couture. Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig paid tribute to Casati with their London-based Marchesa fashion house in 2005.
Already admired by Renee Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, Claudia Schiffer, Diane Kruger and Penelope Cruz, Marchesa is the couture line on the tip of Hollywood’s tongue.
This year the red carpet was decorated by Eva Longoria in a floor length red Bob Mackie gown and Charlize Theron in a lacy black Dior gown. However beautiful these dresses were, they did not steal the spotlight from the stylish feminine gown worn by Longoria’s cast mate Felicity Huffman. In an empire waisted, jeweled gown, Huffman helped to solidify the iconic fashion status of Marchesa.[ADBLOCKHERE]
The stand-out quality came from the feminine elegance that screamed established glamour without the overtly sexy cut outs and low cut busts that often adorn these events. This overexposed nature is not a steadfast rule as demonstrated by Pamela Anderson in a disturbingly large, boxy, black and white gown that ignored her most famous – er, I guess you could say – assets. The most fabulous dresses at the awards were flattering, but did not warrant FCC fines. Marchesa created the shining little white dress that in my opinion stole the carpet.
Marchesa has created a line that is wearable for women both on and off the red carpet with Vogue’s announcement of the launch of the “ready-to-wear” line sometime this year. The designs bring out the natural beauty in the woman wearing it and don’t forget the scandalous touches, like rhinestone detailing that would have pleased its namesake.