It’s still somewhat of a surprise to see myself wearing colour. More often that not, it’s a head-to-toe black and grey look with a pop of colour somewhere across the board. Growing up my mother used to make me wear ridiculous mitchy-matchy clothes, usually in all the hues and prints under the rainbow. So when I hit my mid-teens things started to take a minimal turn. Black quickly became an easy uniform, an escape plan of sorts and my comfort zone.
Another person that shares my minimal aesthetic is Mary Katrantzou. THE Mary Katrantzou that season after season throws a super bold graphic collection down the runway? Yes. Mary, unlike many other designers, doesn’t live her brand in the obvious way and opts for all-black over colour. “Having to work with colour in such a specific way, I need to strip it away from everything around me,” explains Mary. Interestingly understandable.
Her print dominion is undeniably alluring – but her mastery didn’t come for free. Katrantzou, born in Athens, studied architecture then moved onto textile design at Central Saint Martins. The shift from interiors to womenswear came naturally, as she started thinking of the upward trajectory it would mean for her work with print. Her Spring/Summer 2009 collection ended up in 15 high end boutiques, New Generation sponsorships rolled in and Anna Dello Russo fell in love with her designs. The rest is history.
That brings us the Mary’s Spring/Summer 2012 show, or how I like to call it ‘Land of Optimism’. The collection that highlighted the otherwordly craftsmanship the woman possesses through fusion of colour, print and silhouette – the runway looked like a tropical flowerbed of intoxicating boldness. No wonder Anna Dello Russo is obsessed with her – Mary stays true to the history of design while keeping her pieces modern and current. Some say her aesthetic is a gamble but it sure payed off. Katrantzou went on and nabbed herself the Emerging Talent Award for RTW at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. Riding on a high? Doesn’t stop here.
So what does 2012 have in store for Mary Katrantzou? The super-hyped collaboration with Topshop for starters. The 10-piece collection hits Topshop on February 17th and it doesn’t disappoint – in my opinion it even rivals titan collabs like the first wave of Versace X H&M. The ambitious collection features vibrant dresses, blouses, trousers, skirts and t-shirts that all reflect Mary’s near-magical signature style. My favourite, and the standout, is the ‘Pheasant Dream’ dress – a fuchsia explosion floral vase skirt masterpiece (pictures 1 and 2 in the series below). I am so pleased Mary translated her signature brand to high street so Now all that’s left to do is add Mary Katrantzou menswear to my wishlist.
Watch Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2012 RTW here. Mary Katrantzou X Topshop Spring 2012 hits selected stores February 17th