Mark Badgley and James Mischka are the creative brains behind the brand and often hailed as two of the foremost designers in America.
By Dola RC
“This collection was inspired by an imaginary trip to Buenos Aires in the 1950s. It’s inspired by the notion of Buenos Aires as the Paris of South America, where women were so impeccably dressed. The clothes were tailored, but sensuous and incredibly glamorous with great attention to detail.” Mark Badgley’s enthusiasm was palpable while providing insight into Badgley Mischka’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
Badgley Mischka Spring 2016 Collection
“It really is such an inspiration because today women’s lives are so hectic and busy that when they get dressed, it’s almost as if they’re wearing a uniform. Back then, it was so not that. That woman inspired us, and it’s in the mood of our clothes with romanticism, elegance, and glamor.”
Ever since its founding in 1988, Badgley Mischka has become synonymous with an enduring sense of style. Their meticulously designed, elegant and timeless evening wear is adored by celebrities, fashion connoisseurs as well as style-conscious women. Indeed, it has been one of the primary reasons for the label’s continued appeal.
When everyone else was following the latest developments, Mark Badgley, and James Mischka remained faithful to their visions. “We’ve never tried to be really trendy. We don’t go to trend forecasts or do anything like that. We try to stay true to what we do. We want to make women feel beautiful and young.” The sense of pride in Mischka’s voice was understandable.
Badgley showed his assent, “We’ve never been a jack of all trades. We like what we do. We don’t stray. We’ll finish a show with 60 evening gowns because that’s our business and it’s what we love doing. And over time women have realized that it’s what we love doing. It’s our quest to add modern touches each season. As James says, we’re not trendy, and at times, it’s worked against us. But we like creating classic, timeless, glamourous clothes, with a slightly vintage feel. I think women love wearing those kinds of clothes because fashion has gotten so fast, just industrial, that we like when the clothes have a little touch of something that’s the opposite of that.”
The house of Badgley Mischka is a product of love and labor. Mark Badgley and James Mischka —the creative brains behind the brand—are often hailed as two of the foremost designers of America’s fashion industry. That both of them share a similar aesthetic vision helped in nourishing their partnership over a period of three decades. It is only one of the many aspects of their highly rewarding creative and business alliance.
Left: Mark Badgley and James Mischka
Right: Models wearing Badgley Mischka pieces from past collections
“When we first started we would go to everything together, every fitting, and every appointment. We wanted to make sure that the other one did the right thing, but over time, we learned we can trust each other. So, we can be in two places at one time. So it’s worked out really well.”
The firm’s creations have conquered the hearts of Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Jennifer López, Sharon Stone, Helen Mirren and Taylor Swift who find themselves enamored by the Badgley Mischka creations. Interestingly, both Badgley and Mischka find the opportunities of working with “a lot of beautiful women in Hollywood” at once a “rewarding and challenging” experience.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing beautiful Hollywood celebrities walking the red carpet in our designs,” says Badgley.
And, what about the young talents who are just taking their tentative steps in the industry?
“I think today the world has gotten so sophisticated and complicated that you have to get some experience under your belt and learn and make some mistakes on someone else’s dime. It doesn’t matter what you do in a design house; you just need to soak it in. If you decide to pursue this career, at least, you have some experience. I think that’s critical. Any department, you’ll absorb it,” claims Badgley.
We were compelled to ask how they manage to be in tune with time and find a new theme for every changing season. Mischka tries to correct a prevailing perception saying, “We don’t stray that much from season to season, there’s a general feeling in what we do. We’ve been going with Latin themes for a while now. There’s a sensual feel, in general, with the clothes. We’ve gone with Cuba and Colombia, recently.”
“Today, women want to be comfortable but glamorous. That’s really changed since we began 30 years ago when the clothes were much more rigid, and all the inner construction was sort of overdone. We still aim for a polished, chiseled look but in a more modern way.” On that note signed off Mark Badgley and James Mischka. ■
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