Arcangel is one of the fashion world's best kept secrets. A luxury Prêt-a-Porter line that includes everything from day dresses to wedding and bridal party dresses, evening gowns, coats and capes, Arcangel has gained a fast following in Europe since its inception in 2005. In America, movie stars and fashionistas hold Arcangel as their exclusive trump card. Who can forget the "Jophiel" dress worn by Paris Hilton to Hugh Hefner's 81st birthday party at the Palms?
Arcangel was launched in 2005 by designer Catherine Deane. Born into Irish nobility, Catherine Deane had over 11 centuries of history and family traditions to draw upon for inspiration. After being trained as a fashion designer, Deane set out to create her own luxury line that would bring a little magic and inspiration into the lives of others. With collections brimming with romance and fantasy, Arcangel clothes are, indeed, pure magic.
What sets Arcangel apart from other lines, in addition to impeccable design, is the quality of the materials and the construction. The craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of producing an Arcangel original is nothing short of astounding. Every piece is custom developed from design and drape to the cutting of the pattern, to the sewing of the sample, then deconstructing the entire garment to design embroidery or lace details to match the panels — in an embroidered Arcangel dress, the embroidery comes within mere millimeters of the seam. This level of excellence and quality is rarely encountered in Ready-to-Wear, more often in couture.
Furthermore, every season Arcangel researches and creates techniques to deploy in construction and embellishments. Sometimes these techniques go back hundreds of years. For example, the "Jophiel" dress is tambour "drum embroidery" onto Italian cotton tulle — a technique used by French nuns for tablecloths, recreated for dresses.
The Annamaria wedding dress — French lace to Italian cotton tulle lace insertion — as well as the Annamaria top and dress are reminiscent of Edwardian tea gowns, and are quintessential Arcangel:
Annamaria Wedding Dress
Silk Satin Sash
French Lace & Ribbon
French Lace Insertion
The Arcangel Winter 2007 collection also features capes, which are silk satin lined, with heat set taffeta collars with sequined tape; they are finished with painstaking cutout work. These would be perfect for evening wear in the winter. They remind me of "My Fair Lady". Arcangel designer Catherine Deane does count Audrey Hepburn among her sources of inspiration: "Audrey Hepburn had a unique sense of style, grace, sensuality and social conscience. There is nothing more attractive than a woman who knows what makes her appear elegant, then dresses for her personality and body shape regardless of what fashion dictates."
The goddess occasion wear evening gowns, which translate beautifully to island weddings, also feature exquisite details — who wouldn't feel like a Greek goddess in these creations:
Bead & Wirework
Pearl & Diamante
Pearl & Wirework
Dannii Minogue wearing Arcangel
in the October 2007 issue of NW
When Catherine and Gary Deane created Arcangel in 2005, they wrote down key directions for the Arcangel Philosophy — they are still unchanged and as true:
Arcangel is about spiritual feminism
Arcangel is an emotional consciousness
Arcangel is about spreading messages
Arcangel is a personal philosophy
Arcangel is unique, honest and product driven
Arcangel is about feeling elegant and pretty
Arcangel transcends cultures and religions
Arcangel is discovering something never to be found again
Arcangel just showed at the British Bridal Exhibition, and will be at the London Fashion Week, as well as in Milan and Paris:
The Exhibition @ London Fashion Week
15 – 20 September 2007
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Via Tortona, 27 - 20144
Milano - Italy
Vendôme Luxury Trade Show
4 – 7 October 2007
Le Meurice Hotel
228 rue de Rivoli,
Tel: +33 1 44 58 10 10
For boutiques carrying Arcangel designs, see below. Since inventories are limited, be sure to call ahead to ask if they have a particular piece.
USA - LOS ANGELES:
140 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA - LONG ISLAND:
1265 W. Broadway
Hewlett, NY 11557 (Long Island)
PRESS [ST JOHNS WOOD]
Kirsten Goss [KENSINGTON]
The Cross [NOTTING HILL]
Melie B [LIMERICK]
Próxima Parada [MADRID]
Como Agua de Mayo [BARCELONA]
La Pitusa [SEVILLA]
For more information and to view Arcangel collections, visit arcangel.com. The Spring / Summer 2008 Collection will go live this weekend to coincide with the beginning of London Fashion Week.
I would like to thank Catherine and Gary Deane for their permission to use Arcangel images and kindly agreeing to let me write this feature article on Arcangel.
Orig. Post 9-14-07 4:10 AM EST.
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