Interning At Marchesa
Marchesa is known for their impeccable one of a kind couture lace and tulle designs decked out in embroideries, hand beading, flowers, and much more. Unbeknownst to some in addition to their couture line Marchesa also has head to toe accessory lines of jewelry, handbags, and shoes. Their couture designs have been wore by countless celebrities and iconic individuals such as Michelle Obama, Chanel Iman, Rita Ora, Gwen Stefani, Nicole Richie, and most recently Katy Perry; the list goes on and on.
As I trekked down the icy streets of New York City on a cold Monday morning in late January the excitement of this new found internship was boiling up inside me. As I approached 11th avenue tucked away over seeing the pier and ocean was my new home for the next few months. I would be working 3 full days a week as a Fabric R&D / Couture Design intern until early May.
Prior to this opportunity I had worked in interior design for two and a half years and I was surrounded by textiles constantly. During this time I had developed a keen eye for color, texture, weave, and design which had become second nature to me. Little did I know that throughout the course of my current internship I would watch that gift truly blossom.
First up was NYFW with Bobbi Brown herself leading the make up and the Marchesa team fired up and ready to go I was excited to attend my first industry runway show. The invitation only showing took place indoors at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station located near New York Penn Station. As the sun set around 5pm on the outside world the lights on the runway shined bright in the fashion world illuminating the walkway. From 5pm up until the moments leading to the show backstage was completely chaotic. Fashion media reporters were spotted interviewing designers while high profile celebrities were floating around backstage. As for us interns we were seen dressing and lining up each model according to their look. When all was said and done the night finished out with a round of applause from the audience, and the premiere of the Fall/Winter 2017 Couture collection splashed all over the internet and media. Shortly after all the hype of NYFW had died down Georgina and Keren so kindly hosted a surprise party for all of the Marchesa interns with cake and champagne giving us each a small personalized goody bag
thanking us for all our hard work, and dedication.
Next in line was the Oscars followed by the Bridal Showcase. The first time I ever got to view my work on a celebrity was when Heidi Klum and Chrissy Teigen both wore Marchesa gowns on the red carpet of the Oscars. Pregnant Chrissy Teigen looked absolutely stunning strutting down the carpet wearing a flush tone red floral embroidered replica of a gown from the recent Fall/ Winter Couture Collection. Heidi Klum also wore a piece from the recent collection as she was spotted at the event wearing an array of soft blue hues with hand made feather flowers added to complete the look. As I watched from my home television on the E! channel I was truly in awe of the designs as they grazed across the all famous red carpet. Words could not describe how humbled and honored I felt knowing that I had a hand in the inner workings of those garments.
However I didn't have much time to marvel over of the Oscars before it was time for the next big event, the bridal show. In preparation for this show is where I learned how to make flowers, create custom embroidery patterns, intricate detailing, and elaborate embellishments. The nice thing about the bridal collection was that all the garments except one were white so very little dying had to take place. Nevertheless a ton of hand sewing, and embroideries still had to be applied. Throughout the process of the bridal collection I had the chance to sit in on a couple of fittings with Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig along with the rest of the design team as every garment was critiqued and altered. By the end of the fittings each wedding gown was fit to perfection, and nearing completion.
Now let's fast forward to the day of the small intimate showing which took place conveniently down the hallway from the Marchesa design suite. With the Bobbi Brown glam crew heading the make up once again I was happy to see some familiar faces. I was assigned to steaming and prepping the garments and dressing the models. I was so ecstatic to find out that I was dressing the model that I had spent hours dying the fabric for and which was also my favorite garment of the collection; the pink ombré wedding dress.
The showcase began promptly at 5pm when the sun was still high enough in the sky to cascade ever so beautifully through the glass windows behind where each model stood in the venue. The water front view in the background in combination with the sunlight streaming in was simply breath taking. Not to mention the decorative cherry blossom plants that were meticulously placed throughout the venue radiating the essence of a true wedding. To top it all off glasses of champagne, and assorted colors of macaroons were served to the guests as everyone took photos of the new collection. Georgina and Keren hosted some short media interviews during this brief time. I spent most of my time between taking photos, and enjoying the ocean view from the balcony as others took selfies and sipped champagne. As the one hour showing came to a close it was a delightful to know that the pink ombré wedding dress was the talk of the show.
The next and the final event was the Met Gala. For this event Marchesa partnered with IBM to create a garment for Karolina Kurkova inspired by this years exhibit's theme, Fashion In a Age of Technology. The custom design consisted of countless yards of dyed can can, and horsehair topped with white floral embroideries, hand made/ painted white silk flowers, and LED lights which were inserted into the center of each hand made flower. It was an incredible experience to have the front row seat to the complete construction of this garment. Often times throughout the different stages of the garment I was accompanied by film crews in the studio capturing the process of the design every step of the way. Each LED light was carefully attached to every flower and the intensity of the lights were in direct connection to the reactions on twitter of the gown as Karolina strutted up the red carpet leading to the famous stairway and entrance of museum that evening. I have to say the most tedious stage of this gown was getting the perfect color for the can can and horsehair. On this garment alone I spent hours creating fabric swatches, and experimenting with different dye
colors, and lighting. Luckily for me all that hard work paid off!
Aside from all the fun filled events I also had some not so desirable tasks to complete as well. Almost daily I had to make trips to midtown whether it be to drop off small packages or pick up fabric orders and other materials needed in the showroom. However even while completing those not so glamorous tasks I was able to learn Midtown like the back of my hand, and gain some valuable professional contacts all the while still managing to work part time at Smith Maran Architecture + Interiors , and
attend 3 courses at Montclair State University in my senior year.
Over all my experiences during this internship were truly a once in a lifetime and I would not trade it for the world. I was blessed to be able to meet and work under some incredibly talented individuals who I will never forget. They so graciously took me under their wings and introduced me to a whole new realm of couture fashion. I was blessed to have the opportunity not only to participate in runway shows, fittings, and photo shoots, but also red carpet events. By the end of it all the Marchesa staff had become like family to me. I finished the internship knowing that I was stepping into the next chapter of my life and it wasn't goodbye it was see you later!
#marchesa #nyc #fashion #internship #couture
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