Markarian Sets The Tone For A Romantic Valentine’s Day—And Introduces First Footwear Offering Along The Way

by Freya Drohan

For the most loved-up day of the year, it was only fitting that an offering worthy of fluttering hearts be given its moment in the spotlight. For Fall ’22, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill doubled down on her tried-and-true silhouettes with an offering that fused old school elegance with some Western elements and 1920s art deco for good measure. While it’s hard to upstage such divine dresses and separates, all eyes were also on the accessories; including Markarian’s inaugural foray into footwear, in collaboration with Maria Luca.

The beauty of Markarian shows (and it’s hard to believe this is only O’Neill’s second runway outing) is that they evoke that feeling of a salon-style presentation from a bygone era. This was helped by the chic backdrop of Prince George’s Ballroom and its soft velvet draped curtain, gilded chairs, and floral arrangements by Putnam & Putnam.

The 39-piece collection was elevated by Andrew Mukamal’s styling, who presented new takes on how to take your Markarian frock or evening coat out on the town. Pair your ball gown with boots! A bandana-style triangle top with your finest sequin trousers! Ladylike polka-dot tights with your shortest short shorts! The preferred fabrics of the brand, which creates its garments locally, were all evident throughout: wools, burnout silk velvets, paillettes, brocade, and plissé lamé.

Each outfit was teamed with eye-catching accessories, such as Swarovski crystal-covered minaudiéres and clutches which bounced down the catwalk, plus custom belts with floral engraved metal buckles, snakeskin textures, and metal studs. The aforementioned shoe line, Maria Luca x Markarian, put forward lace-up sandals, slingbacks, ballerinas, and booties in floral brocade, satin, and suede. According to the designer, she was introduced to Maria Luca’s founder Carlotta De Luca by a mutual friend and they immediately hit it off thanks to their shared reference points and how they each find forever inspiration in their grandmothers. O’Neill also partnered with fellow NYC-based Gigi Burris Millinery on the eye-catching embellished and feathered headwear (a surefire way to make a memorable entrance!) and with Ciner jewelry on the enamel, beaded, and tasseled jewelry assortment.

“Markarian’s Fall 2022 collection is an ode to my favorite memories of growing up in Colorado: mountain sunsets, starry night skies, and fields of wildflowers,” O’Neill said in her show notes. “I fused those elements with the glamour of New York City’s Jazz Age, which I fell in love with while reading novels and stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker.”

The collection is available for pre-order from today, February 14. And remember, @ all men—flower bouquets wilt, but the gift of Markarian lasts forever.

Ali O’Neill

A backstage minute with Ali O’Neill

Your mood right now in one word: Excited
The collection mood in one word: Jazz Age glamour
Adrenaline high thanks to…. Coffee and pure joy
Late nights or early mornings: Both!
Jumping off point for this collection: Showgirls, Cecil Beaton photos, and mountain sunsets
Who you call for moral support: I call my family for moral support, they always know how to set me straight
Food order on speed dial right now: Spring Bone Kitchen
Failsafe inspiration when you need it: Portrait paintings throughout history
Coffee or tea: 1 coffee and 1 matcha a day
Soundtrack/album that gets you through: Dolly forever!
Stress buster: Deep breaths
Good luck charm: my sister, Krissy
The first person you look for in the audience: I’m usually blinded by the lights for the photographers!
Post-show celebrations: My team and I always go out for burgers after any big event we have! This season we had a big dinner at Café Select to celebrate instead.

See the collection below:

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