When Mark Badgley and James Mischka started thinking about the Pre-Fall collection, the design duo had just watched the comedy How to Marry a Millionaire starring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable. “They were models, and they rented this incredible penthouse on Park Avenue, trying to find a man,” Bagley said. “They’re all in love with men with no money,” Mischka adds, “but fashion is great—it’s all about 1953 in New York.”
The vintage fashion from the movie ended up inspiring their new line of gorgeous gowns. In particular, the couple was mesmerized by the film’s vibrant color palette: they focused on designing their signature dresses in uplifting shades of yellow, blue, and green. “We always love flowers and bows,” says Mischka. “We couldn’t resist that.”
While the shades chosen were vibrant, they decided to simplify the silhouette for greater ease. “We used to focus only on beading, but our clients now really want architectural shapes and simpler silhouettes,” says Mischka. Standouts included a one-shoulder tropical-print silk dress with a large bow at the shoulder. “These are the styles you want to wear in the summer—easy and not clinging to you,” says Badgley. A navy cocktail dress featured neoprene-shaped petals at the shoulders; meanwhile, a simple sleeveless green sheath gown featured crystal piping at the shoulders and an elongated train. “It goes beautifully across the lawn,” Badgley said.
One of the more notable numbers is a yellow gold dress made of re-embroidered lace (modified with more sequins and sequins) and finished off at the shoulders Trimmed with organza. Here’s the dress Badgley envisioned for a black-tie wedding — though in it, you might just upstage the bride.