Markarian Autumn / Winter 2023
Markarian, a luxury womenswear brand founded by designer Alexandra O’Neill, presented its Autumn / Winter 2023 collection. The brand relies on the notion that romanticism and modernism are not mutually exclusive and contribute to the contemporary woman.
This collection is nostalgic for the period when her grandparents lived in New York. In pursuit of the sensory pleasures of parties and style, they lived a life that transplants move to experience. Her grandmother’s stories of her youth were constantly on O’Neill’s mind during the design process. She says, “…[my grandfather] would have her stand on the kitchen table and would whip up a beautiful gown for her so they could go dancing.” The company itself aims to use the high craftsmanship in the Garment Center that separates New York to being the center of American fashion.
MARKARIAN: THE COLLECTION
Beginning the collection is a white dress with draped shoulders and crystal detailing. The embellishments gently sparkle and enhance an otherwise inoffensive opening. We then turn to a thick coat with slits and a muted floral design that is hard to separate from a vintage carpet.
Party dresses with crystal detailing are abundant and distinguishable only by a change in color and silhouette. There is a drastic change in patterns as rose printed silks appear on dresses in different silhouettes. But they signal a garden party rather than a night out in New York.
A standout is a full length white silk dress whose tailoring hugs the body but is still modern.
The collection truly shines as it moves on and channels what it is named for: a group of galaxies. For O’Neill, the celestial bodies in their whimsical glory hold her affection and she shines when channeling just that.
A Persian blue suit with flared bottoms and trumpet sleeves adds modern femininity to the masculine silhouette. The color palette begins to opt towards jewel tones and leads to a mystery and sexiness that hint at nightlife. A black silk coat with a subtle print emphasized by tiny sparkles is sophisticated and timeless. Floral patterns still appear, but the use of sequins and jewel toned geometric brocades creates an enigma around the collection.
The closing look is a conservative black dress with white shoulder detailing and ruffles on the bottom. It was fairly anticlimactic and encapsulated the collection’s struggle with consistency. Though the design inspiration seemed to be nightlife, there was little reference to it or the original fascination with astronomy. Instead, the collection was in a tug of war between who it wanted to be: contemporary or old-fashioned, exciting or subdued.
All Images Via Markarian
Featured Image Via Markarian