Mary Katrantzou


Greek Designer Mary Katrantzou has been in my radar for over 5 years, probably since in collaboration with Topshop back in 2012. This was also the year I started attending Central Saint Martins, which Katrantzou was an alumni of, so her name was always floating around.
  

Known for her gorgeous prints and beautifully shaped designs, Katrantzou was born to an interior designer mother and a father who was trained in textile engineering, so her creative roots have always been set for her. 

She moved to USA in 2003 to study at Rhode Island School of Design for a BA in Architecture. She then transferred to CSM to complete a BA in Textile Design, and graduated in 2005. During her time in CSM, Katrantzou became interested in how prints can alter the shape of a woman’s body, and subsequently went on to graduate in MA Fashion from CSM with a distinction in 2008. 



Her graduate collection was composed of jersey dresses and trompe l’oeil prints, which is French for “deceive the eye”, and is basically a technique that uses realistic imagery. Perception and perspective has always been what she was interested in. Katrantzou often uses prints to alter objects, in this collection she used jewellery, and turns it into something that is flattering on the body. 

Katrantzou debuted her first collection in London Fashion Week SS09, picking up 15 prestigious stockists. Since then, her status has only grown larger and larger. She currently holds over 250 stocklists. The visual power of print has allowed her to create numerous thematic collections, which all in some way revolve around luxury and beauty, and I think that is what has attracted me to her. She uses objects that aren’t really wearable and created prints out of them, for example, perfume bottles and art objects such as vintage postage stamps.   

I absolutely ADORE the shapes and she creates and I constantly am awe-stricken by the prints she comes up with. I've read so much about her thought processes and her inspiration, and I find her mind fascinating. If I could ever get the chance, I'd love to speak to her learn anything about how she approaches her research and designing her collections. They're absolutely gorgeous every season. 

SS11

The designs in this collection inspired by the Helmut Newton’s and Guy Bourdin's photographs. She realised the interior rooms that the women in their photographs were just as important as the women themselves. “I wanted to put the room on the women, rather than the woman in the room,” Katrantzou says. What we get are these seventies images reworked into very stylised fashion pieces. I think it’s a very unique style and I love how artistic and surreal it looks with the vintage lavish rooms. It’s such an unusual idea but totally wearable. It just reminds me about the power of digital art, and how creatively it can be used.

AW11 


I love how ornate this collection is. Katrantzou's inspiration for this one was objets d'art, artistic objects of beauty and decor such as FabergĂ© eggs, Coromandel screens and  Ming Vases. I guess moving onto using these objects were the perfect follow up to her SS11 collection centred around interior rooms, now it's the decorative objects in the rooms. And I again, absolutely LOVE it. Everything looks luxurious and couture. and the shapes are stunningly flattering for the female body. I like how it looks kind of strong and dominant, perhaps because of the colours and bold prints, but it is still beautiful and feminine at the same time. 

2012 Topshop Collaboration 

Literally every print she used in this high street collaboration spoke to me. The prints are to DIE for. Everything in this collection was just so easy to wear, and could be casual but also not casual. I love things you can dress up and down.

AW13

This collection is so cool. She was inspired by the beautiful iridescent black and white photography of Edward Steichen, Clarence White and Alfred Stieglitz. We've been so used to seeing a lot of colour in Katrantzou's work, here we see a very specific lack of it. The effect of the colour scheme is something sinister, dark and dramatic, particularly with the chosen landscapes printed, which I guess perfect for Winter. It's still very elegant and sophisticated. I love that you can see she is still experimenting with different shapes, and not just sticking to one look, showing her versatility, and proving that she is not a one-note designer.

2014 Resort 

So now we're back to the intense colours and prints and Katrantzou is still playing with numerous shapes. She's officially moved on from interiors to landscapes. I love the variety in this collection, although a lot of her collection have variety. But there are so many different silhouettes going on, and the choice of colours and prints in this one really excites me. There are literally so many pieces I want in my closet right now. It's so visually powerful, it looks romantic and futuristic at the same time. I didn't even know that was possible! Mary, you continue to amaze me.  

I am so awe-stricken by the floral scenery in those dresses, they're utterly and perfectly gorgeous!

SS15 


This is probably my favourite collection. It's so feminine and gorgeous, with dainty little details. The inspiration for this was the geological supercontinent, Pangea, and the universal sea surrounding it, Panthalassa. You can totally see that the idea behind it is movement. The movement of the tectonic plates is echoed in the flowiness of the dresses and the abstract patterns and lines. It's wonderfully naturalistic, a perfect embodiment of the nature of the Earth. It's just an amazing collection. Awe-sticken again.  

I love her playfulness with sheer fabric here, it's been used in a refreshingly unique way, particularly in combination with the colours and prints. It's not something I usually like, I've been seeing similar deconstructed dresses recently a lot in fashion shows, but with Katrantzou's SS15 collection, it fits with the theme perfectly. 

Pre Fall 2016 Collection 
 



This year, Katrantzou has drawn inspiration from literature. She is drawing on the 60s futurist Sci-Fi writings of Isaac Asimov (I,Robot) and Philip K. Dick. The silhouettes are sharp and focused and the patterns she has chosen to use speak to the futuristic feel. The shapes and metallic fabrics reference a futuristic robot. I’m just amazed that I still find this collection new and not like her past work, but still keeping in tone with her style. It must be so tiring being a designer and coming up with new and refreshing designs. I really like that there’s a minimalistic feel to this collection, but it’s not actually minimalistic because of the colours and patterns of course. Katrantzou manages to  find a way to combine juxtaposing ideals and somehow make it work. It’s a very well put together collection.

Shapes, textures, colours and prints. That's what I love Katrantzou for. 



***Image Source***
https://www.marykatrantzou.com/

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1 comments:

  1. I love this post! Never heard of Katrantzou before but will definitely be looking out for her in the future!

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