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Is Marchesa making a comeback?

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

13 May 2018

Fashion label Marchesa is making a comeback, at least if Anna Wintour has anything to say about it.

The Vogue executive chose to wield her influence by dedicating her entire monthly editor’s letter in the June issue of American Vogue in support of Marchesa co-founder, Georgina Chapman, the now estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein.

Chapman should not be blamed for Weinstein’s behavior

In her letter, Wintour writes Chapman holds no accountability in the Weinstein sexual abuse scandal: “I am firmly convinced that Georgina had no idea about her husband’s behavior; blaming her for any of it, as too many have in our gladiatorial digital age, is wrong. I believe that one should not hold a person responsible for the actions of his or her partner. What Georgina should be receiving is our compassion and understanding.”

Unfortunately for Chapman, the Marchesa fashion label she co-founded with Keren Craig in 2004, is near intrinsically connected with Hollywood via Weinstein.

A staple on the red carpet, Marchesa was often worn at high profile events by A-list actresses including Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mila Kunis, Siena Miller, Blake Lively, and the list goes on. Many who wore the brand, however, have since stated they were coerced to do so, including actress Jessica Chastain, “another symbol of Mr Weinstein’s abuse of power,” writes the New York Times.

Did Weinstein kill his wife’s fashion label?

Support for Marchesa ebbed to a full nul-points following the revelations of the Weinstein saga, with celebrities quick to abandon the label and the brand taking a season out from fashion week. The company’s staff, too, swiftly exited the label, with an article in the Daily Beast last October suggesting, “Did Harvey Weinstein Kill his Wife’s Fashion Label?”

One would not have been wrong to think Marchesa may have had its heyday. At least until last week’s Met Gala, when actress Scarlett Johansson arrived at the Metropolitan Museum’s annual fundraiser wearing a cardinal red dégradé Marchesa gown with appliqué flowers along the bust and pale rose leaves embroidered as if they were strewn, at its hem. A bold statement of support for Chapman and her brand, Johansson was the first celebrity to publicly endorse the label since the scandal broke out last year.

Of the brand’s absence from the public eye during award season, Chapman, who features in an interview in the same issue of Vogue, told interviewer Jonathan van Meter: “We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation. All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really.”

Johansson stated: “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers.” No mentioned of Weinstein was needed.