Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mary Katrantzou, RTW Spring 2011 - Something Completely Different

Alexandra Tretter
Can you imagine making an entrance in one of these creations?  This collection is completely unlike anything else out there!  Will it start a trend of print-focused designs?  Or will it be a novelty?  Since this is a ready to wear collection, do you think any of the looks are wearable?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

LONDON, September 19, 2010
By Tim Blanks
For her first stand-alone show, Mary Katrantzou came up with a conceit so dazzling, so artful, but so elementary that it made you wonder why no one else had attempted it. She'd been looking at the highly stylized seventies photography of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin when it occurred to her that the interiors in the pictures were just as important as the models. "With this collection, I wanted to put the room on the woman, rather than the woman in the room," Katrantzou said after the show. You could say Hussein Chalayan attempted something similar ten years ago, but his pieces were elements of a conceptual performance, while Katrantzou's were desirable clothes to be worn. The fact that they were also surreal masterpieces of the digital printer's craft only made them more seductive.

Katrantzou said she worked in three dimensions for the first time while designing her prints, and there was an almost hallucinatory depth to the images she lifted from old issues of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors, once they were laid over her precisely fitted silhouettes. One memorable example: a dress whose top half featured a swimming pool in an L.A. house, while below was a view of the city by night from a balcony that, one imagined, was part of the same dwelling. Another: a polished dining-table cut away as a skirt, with a perspective of the room behind rising up the bodice. But these descriptions can scarcely convey the exquisite symmetry of the printing that, at various points within the collection, created patterns it was almost possible to read as abstract art.

It didn't stop there. Katrantzou added trompe l'oeil interior details to the clothes. A pelmet created a portrait neckline above a print of a window frame; swaths of chiffon fluttered like curtains; mini-crinis echoed lampshades with dangling pendants of crystal. Wall sconces were reconfigured as necklaces (but they were too literally heavy for the airiness of the clothes they accompanied). After the show, Italian style icon Anna Dello Russo was in raptures. Now there's a woman who'll be wearing a room in Milan next week.

Antonella Graef

Hildie Gifstad

Olga Cerpita

Ming Xi

Rose Cordero

Katie Fogarty

Yulia Terentieva

Antonella Graef

Aida Aniulyte


  1. My favorite is the one worn by Yulia, with the red floral sleeves. Look at that neckline! The print of the jewelry matches up exactly with real jewelry. How incredible an idea is that?

  2. The Yulia is really good! I love the one on Alexandra Tretter It's amazing! I feel like these designs are transporting me through a portal. Really cool but not something I see becoming a trend. I love it though!

  3. Alexandra was my second favorite! I'd like to own one, and wear it for a special event (in a very white room), and then have it on display. It's more graphic art than clothes, really. But I think there will be a lot of bolder graphics in textiles after the buzz this collection is getting, but I think people will be careful not to imitate her crazy silhouettes. Lamp shades as skirts? Fun, but probably not a trend.


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