The first thing that struck you when you entered Mary Katrantzou’s show space at the old Eurostar terminal in Waterloo this morning, was the incredible set: A sea of tightly packed carnations in red, pink, yellow and white stripes formed a panel in the centre of the catwalk, which the models walked around (one poor soul somehow managed to go in the opposite direction to all the other girls, but I’m pleased to report she styled it out beautifully and plenty of fashion editors didn’t even notice the mistake!). Sitting across the flowers from us on the front row, the Katrantzou clan were out in force, with Mary’s parents and boyfriend Marios all looking rather nervous as they waited for the show to begin.
The fabulous set just added to the buzz surrounding the show. In just three years (six collections), Greek born Mary has risen from unknown St Martins graduate to internationally acclaimed darling of the fashion world. Ruth Chapman, CEO of Matches told Grazia 'Mary is getting it so right at the moment. Her prints and shapes appeal to the high-fashion girl…we have already sold out of her exclusive Lily Pond print dress this season'. Harvey Nichols’ buying director Avril Oates agrees 'Lavish prints and fascinating motifs, combined with intelligent use of fabric and tasteful cuts, appeal to such a wide-range of customer. Mary Katrantzou has been a successful brand for us ever since we launched it in AW09'.
While the prints always take center stage in a Mary Katrantzou collection (this season they were inspired by the theme ‘man meets machine meets mother earth’, and included fish scales, feathers and flowers as well as tin cans and car parts) the silhouettes more than held their own. From the dressy - strict little shifts with chiffon sunray pleated trains (I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a few of them on red-carpet-cool-girls in the next few months) – to the dressed down shrunken biker jackets with chainmail sleeves layered over sheath dresses atop of narrow trousers, the collection had elements for different aspects of a woman’s life, not just for cocktail hour. This slick, confident and utterly gorgeous collection was a major hit with the fash pack and will no doubt win Mary even more fans and acclaim - the Katrantzou parents should be proud as punch!
- Siobhan Mallen