Marchesa's butterfly gowns float down runway

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
September 12, 2013
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The Marchesa Spring 2014 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Pearls were still being sewn on the showstopping red carpet looks an hour before Marchesa's New York Fashion Week runway show, but the audience would never have known the frenzy.

When it came time for models to come down the runway in an elegant space at the New York Public Library, the delicate dresses floated with ethereal calm.

Some gowns had pearls, others butterfly appliques — and some had both. There was more of a light lingerie feel to the silhouettes than big sculptural pieces designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have turned out in seasons' past.

The inspiration, according to Craig, is a Victorian-style curiosity case, where people would display treasures such as butterflies and birds.

Chapman said, "We were thinking about the romance of it and the idea of collecting all these different things and putting them together. So then we ... came to the idea of, you know, old pieces of lingerie mixed with Irish laces mixed with bird motifs, and so it's a melting pot of ideas but done in a very relaxed way."

Somehow the bralette that's been all over the seasonal previews of next spring's styles landed here, too, but as a delicate lace top worn with a blush-colored organza T-shirt over it. It seemed the most ladylike interpretation of the trend.

Otherwise, this isn't the fashion show to see what everyone will be wearing. It's the show to see what Hollywood lovelies will wear to big events.

Predictions? The opener, a powder-blue lingerie top with a gold, metallic lace embroidered skirt, and the finale gown with an empire waist, gold lace bra top and blush tulle skirt with rose ribbon flowers will be on the red carpet soon.

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AP writer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.