These days, it seems every other actress on every red carpet is trying to push the boundaries and make a statement. But back in the 1920’s, there was one woman who was way ahead of them all. Back then, Marchesa Luisa Casati was Europe’s most notorious and eccentric fashionista. A woman who would wear live snakes as jewelry. Who would swan about naked under her furs with a cheetah on a diamond-studded leash. We’re talking next level awesome. She was as adored as much as she was abhorred, and was by far the most scandalous women of her day. But the thing is, everywhere she went, Marchesa Luisa inspired genius. She was considered “A living work of Art”, which is exactly what the label named after her creates.
You instantly know a Marchesa creation when you see one. Elegant, timeless, eclectic. Precisely how we’d describe the sprawling Manhattan loft of the label’s Co-Founder and Co-Creative Director Keren Craig, whose style, just like the label, is truly distinctive.
“I’ve always been obsessed with vintage and antique textiles from around the world. I love mixing prints and patterns together.”
It’s that mix that has seen Keren and her Co-Founder Georgina Chapman create an empire in just ten short years “We always talked about having a business together early on in our friendship which is over twenty years now! It was during one of our trips to India in 2004 that we finally decided just to go for it”.
Keren counts Christian Louboutin and Tabitha Simmons among her closest friends, and the La Labo guys are neighbours, so imagine our delight when we found ourselves in an entanglement of fragrances and shoes. A serious amount of shoes.
“I buy so many that I hardly wear! I think something is going to be the perfect shoe for all occasions and then find out its too small or it doesn’t go with anything”. We hear you sister!
All this, the beauty, the glamour, the friends, and yet Keren remains refreshingly unaffected. She’s just so damn nice. As we chat, her children whizz around on their scooters and there is a beautiful calmness about her, this motherly energy – as if she’s most relaxed when she has her girls in her arms.
Enter into her bathroom and it’s refreshing also that Keren has a rather simple beauty routine. She sticks to products that work. Being the designer she is, she’s worked with some of the best make–up artists in the world, so privy to countless insider tips, “Adding some YSL Touché Eclat above your top lip makes your lips pop more, and a dab on the bottom lip makes them look fuller”. Yes please!
When it’s time to exit her abode that she shares with her husband Piers and their two daughters Delphine (2) and Delilah (5), we almost have to drag ourselves out. There is just so much to take in, there’s something to look at on every surface, it’s like some sort of wondrous, enchanted bazaar, with vintage and ornamental pieces from all over the world. From the cushions to the rugs to the beautiful Charles Lahti artworks, there’s just so much texture, so much character, so much intrigue, so much life! You get the feeling even The Marchesa herself would have felt right at home.
Photographed by Adrian Mesko.