21 February 2010

LFW AW10 Report: Mary Katrantzou

Think Mary Katrantzou, fashion sensation from Greece via Central Saint Martins and you think – digital prints. The muses of past seasons were giant jewellery and then art deco perfume bottles, versions of which are now all over the high street – both with her capsule collection at TOPSHOP as well as unofficial versions in many a reasonably priced stockist. So this season Katrantzou turns back in time for her inspiration. The clean, sharp edges of previous graphics were replaced with a much softer, painterly style. According to the show notes she was inspired by paintings from the 18th century, but the Regency period made itself felt in details beyond the prints – particularly in rows of brass buttons on the high-heeled boots and a beautifully high collared navy military jacket nipped at the waist and standing up over a luscious printed dress. History is a rich seam for designers to mine, as long as they don’t end up creating costume rather than fashion, a trap which this designer has successfully avoided.  

Katrantzou’s strength is her eye for a print. The digital technology that has revolutionised and regenerated the trend for colourful, printed clothes gives designers so many possibilities but with Miss Katrantzou’s pieces, the source material is clearly visible and this sets her apart. The best dresses are the most simply cut, although this collection saw several looks of differing skirt and bodice combinations, which worked well. And she’s achieved what any designer a few seasons on from graduating in a blaze of glory needs to; she’s kept her identity so that the collection is recognisably hers, but without repeating the same idea.
 
Looks like the high street will have some catching up to do...



- Naomi Attwood


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