Pre-Fall 2023 Collection
“When Mark Badgley and James Mischka started thinking about pre-fall, the design duo had just finished watching the 1953 comedy How to Marry a Millionaire starring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Betty Grable. “They’re models and they rent this incredible penthouse on Park Avenue, to try and find a man,” said Badgley. “They all fall in love with guys that don’t have money,” added Mischka “but the fashion is great—it’s all about the ’50s in New York.”
The retro fashion in the film ended up inspiring their new assortment of glitzy gowns. Particularly, the pair were smitten with the springy color palette of the film: They focused on designing their signature dresses in uplifting shades of yellows, blues, and greens. “And we always love flowers and bows,” said Mischka. “We can’t resist that.”
While the chosen hues were vibrant, they decided to streamline the silhouettes, for a bigger sense of ease. “We used to be all about beading, but our customer now really wants architectural shapes and simpler silhouettes,” said Mischka. The standouts included a one-shouldered tropical-print dress in silk, with a big bow at the shoulder. “These are the kinds of silhouettes you want to wear in the summer—it’s easy and doesn’t stick to you,” said Badgley. A navy cocktail dress had neoprene-shaped flower petals at the shoulder; a simple, sleeveless green sheath gown, meanwhile, had crystal piping at the shoulders, with an elongated train. “It would move across a lawn really prettily,” said Badgley.
One of the more dramatic numbers was a golden-yellow dress made of re-embroidered lace (it was touched up with more paillettes and sequins), and finished with pops of organza on the shoulder. It’s a frock that Badgley envisions at a black tie wedding—though in it, you may just upstage the bride.”
CHRISTIAN ALLAIRE FOR VOGUE.COM