Here Comes the Marchesa Bride

Marchesa gowns, which have graced plenty of red carpets, will soon be making their way down wedding aisles, as well.

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And, Fargo added, the strategy comes with other pluses. "Not everybody who wears white is only wearing it for a bridal moment, so you have the product exposed to a wider audience," she said, adding Marchesa's aesthetic lends itself well to the bridal category. She remembered how a friend of hers found herself scrambling to find an appropriate gown three weeks before her beach wedding. "She came to me in a panic," Fargo said. "I said, 'Give me a minute, I will run through the store.' I put her in a Marchesa Notte off-white little Grecian goddess with a wide band of embellishment in gold. She just wore little gold sandals, and she looked so beautiful."

It might seem surprising to some, but Chapman's own experience as a bride — she tied the knot to Harvey Weinstein last December — did not trigger the bridal collection.

"I remember what I was like as bride," she said, chuckling. "I really wouldn't want to deal with myself. That's why we're doing it off-the-rack." Chapman recalled working on her own dress the week before the wedding when she nearly "screwed things up." "I thought, 'All right, I will have to do something else,'" she said. "The tulle came back from India brown. I thought, 'Oh, that's nice, a brown wedding dress.' We had to wash it for hours and repaint it all."

She admitted, though, that organizing her own wedding may have given her valuable insights into wedding gown dos and don'ts. "Designing my own dress for my wedding, I saw the bride's perspective rather than the designer's perspective," she said. "I also wanted something so that one day, my kids won't roll about laughing, saying, 'Oh my God, that was so 2007,' or something that has me cringing every time I get out the photographs. You want to look beautiful and feel comfortable. You don't want to feel awkward on your wedding day."

Brides-to-be can start ordering from a sample collection at Bergdorf's later this month. The store will receive actual stock in July. The collection will be priced at retail from about $3,500 to $10,000, which is comparable with Marchesa's evening-wear.
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