Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mary Katrantzou

One of the hottest names in London's fashion scene is Mary Katrantzou, a young Greek lady whose dramatic use of hyper size prints and overall sense of explosive color has given her an influence well beyond her age. Katrantzou was born in Athens in 1983.
In a very real sense, Katrantzou's brilliant use of print design has been a major influence on modern fashion, especially in the current spring 2012 season, where bold arty florals, dazzling hues and patchwork prints have been the single biggest trend. This made her latest runway show, staged on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in London, something of a mega event. Indeed, every editor, critic and buyer of note showed up to see Katrantzou's latest collection, unveiled in the decayed modernist splendour of the former Eurostar terminal in Waterloo station.
Underlining her theme, the designer's invitation was a collage of volcanic and abstract images, as if sent through a blender, while the catwalk was divided by a tennis court long field of carnations. And, when it comes to printing, Katrantzou has few rivals, even this season when she appears to have influenced half the industry. Her collages of expressionist parts, space nebulae and abstract ethnic smears all looked intriguing, but a bit too overpowering. It was almost as if her colleagues had not just caught up with Katrantzou but surpassed her.
Moreover, while her sense of color is unique, her cutting is problematic. Far too many of the clothes in this show had an angle too many, jutting out almost dangerously, so much so one wondered whether a woman could actually sit down when wearing them.
Her other big idea in terms of silhouette was adding a train everywhere, so yards of fabric looped off the back of chiffon blouses, mini skirts and cocktail dresses.
This season in New York and London has been a testament to Katrantzou's reach and importance. It was not, however, a triumph for her own collection.


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