Photos by Jill Fehrenbacher and Amanda Coen for EcouterreAgainst the onslaught of real housewives and Kardashians, Leanne Marshall's brand of youthful elegance fills a precarious but necessary niche. And, at the showing of her Spring/Summer 2012 line at New York Fashion Week on Saturday, the Season 5 Project Runway winner showed us why sophistication will always trump flash. Billowy confections, architecturally sculptured in layers of traditional silk, hemp silk, bamboo jersey, and organic cotton, fluttered down the runway in searing combinations of ivory, lavender, and highlighter yellow. "I was inspired by the feeling of going to the beach or vacationing in the South of France," Marshall tells Ecouterre. "I wanted to capture the way the wind moved through the sand."
Whether pinned, tucked, draped or whipped into a froth of gravity-defying ruffles, cocktail dresses and evening gowns ruled the runway, a clear indicator of Marshall’s briskest business in recent years: bridal wear. (Well that and dressing Paula Abdul.)
Whether pinned, tucked, draped or whipped into a froth of gravity-defying ruffles, cocktail dresses and evening gowns ruled the runway.
Ready-to-wear they may be, but Marshall and her team crafts each one to order in New York City. “When I design, I rarely start with a sketch,” she says. “I play and sculpt with the materials and let them tell me what to do.”