Marchesa Notte discovered 18th-century painter François-Hubert Drouais, known mostly for his portraits of Louis XV and other members of the royal family

When a brand’s aesthetic is rooted in florals and romance, there’s no limit to the artists and artworks to reference. For Spring 2020, Georgina Chapman and her team at Marchesa Notte discovered 18th-century painter François-Hubert Drouais, known mostly for his portraits of Louis XV and other members of the royal family.



It was his softer, more Rococo-style paintings that inspired this collection, though, namely the ones depicting gardens, opulent interiors, or well-dressed women. Pinned to the mood board was a printout of Portrait of an Elegant Lady, in which a smiling woman (thought to be dancer and comedienne Marie Justine Benoîte Duronceray) is playing the harpsichord. The ruffles, ruching, and lace in her dress are intricately detailed, and the muted pale blue was lifted into the collection’s palette of dusty lavender, blush, and sapphire.

That’s all familiar territory chez Marchesa, as was Drouais’s penchant for gardens. The difference in the blooms here was that they felt a bit more natural—especially the finale gown, a sheer beige “naked dress” with a tumble of 3D roses piled up at the hem—and there were new experiments in transparency. Dresses printed with hand-painted florals came with tulle overlays in the same motif, just scaled up for added depth. On the opening dress—a pink floral strapless style with smocked tulle around the skirt—the effect was of lightness and whimsy, much like one of those sweet, utterly feminine Rococo paintings. (vogue.com)






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