In keeping with its 115-year-old tradition of launching emerging designers, the tony Dallas-based retailer has embraced another up-and-coming brand, Salon 1884. The ready-to-wear collection is designed and founded by New York contemporary artist Andrea Mary Marshall, known for her evocative self-portraits and penchant for remaking VO
The name is taken from John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of Madame X,” the 1884 portrait of socialite Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, wife of French banker Pierre Gautreau. It’s a nod toward Marshall’s career as a self-portrait artist and creative in the art and fashion industry which inspired her modern lifestyle designs. The collection’s name is perhaps a misnomer as the clothes from the debut Edition No 1 channel 1984 more than the Gilded Age.
The initial offering features a leather padded shoulder blazer and pleated pants look, double-breasted suit jackets, black and white polka dot combos, and draped and ruched hi-slit long skirts, for example. It has the appeal of searching for that perfect retro style in your favorite vintage store, except finding it new.
Specifically, the artist-slash-designer took inspiration from the 1988 film “Working Girl” with Melanie Griffith. “I love the film’s styling – power suits with oversized trench coats worn over the shoulders!” Edition no 2 will build upon the first collection but introduce new silhouettes and colors. According to Marshall, the line uses local production in New York City’s Garment District and is manufactured in factories that maintain ethical labor standards. Garments are responsibly made with environmentally conscious materials, including recycled knits, peace silk, and vegetable-tanned leather.
Jodi Kahn, Senior Director, DMM for Women’s Designer RTW at Neiman Marcus, agrees. “We are passionate about supporting the exclusive launch of the Salon 1884 debut collection. The designs are feminine and sophisticated yet understated at the same time. The pieces can easily integrate into one’s wardrobe. Salon 1884 has the newness and fashion-forward approach our customers are looking for without trying too hard, and we believe this collection will resonate strongly with them,” she says.
Despite her notoriety as an artist, Marshall has over ten years of experience as a fashion designer after receiving her BFA from Parsons School of Design. “Salon 1884 is designed for the modern woman and her unique approach to style. Edition No. 01 is photographed as a series of ‘selfies,’ that reflect upon the way women interact with and experience fashion today – through her own lens, as she wants to be seen,” says Marshall who naturally stars in the campaign as well.
The pandemic solidified her desire to launch her line. “Many of my friends work in the creative industries as artists, gallerists, stylists, editors, etc., and I was inspired to design for these women who want to look and feel elegant and empowered,” said Marshall in an email interview. She insists her art and fashion designs are separate disciplines. “They are two different practices for me. Salon 1884 is what I want to wear to the gallery opening,” she continued.
Marshall studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design.” After graduation, I worked various freelance jobs in fashion design, fashion illustration, styling, and art direction to support my fine art career,” she added.
This debut collection is exclusively available on NeimanMarcus.com and Neiman Marcus NorthPark, and Los Angeles. Retail prices range from $1,050 for a bodysuit to $3,490 for a lambskin jacket. To celebrate the launch, the designer and Neiman’s Jodi Kahn and Paolo Riva, GM brand partnerships and merchandising were on hand at the Hotel Chelsea‘s Bard Room for an intimate dinner attended by Coco Rocha, stylist Bailey Moon, Brie Welch, and more.