Style Scoop

Everybody's Talking About Mary Katrantzou

May 29, 2013
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The title says it all.  Mary Katrantzou is the designer's name on the tips of everyone's tongues these days.  When she first started out with her Fall 2009 collection which showed at London Fashion Week, Katrantzou immediately gained the attention of the press for her bold prints and colourful statement.  But the critics were skeptical.  Would her pieces sell?  By the time Mary showed her Spring 2011 collection three seasons later, they were sold.  The show was a critical success and the buyers were starting to catch on, too.  The British Fashion Council saw the potential in Mary from the very beginning; after all, it was the funding that Mary got from receiving the honour of becoming a "New Generation" designer that put on her first runway show in 2009.  She then became a permanent member of the BFC's London Showrooms initiative, which brought her around the world to meet press and retailers in places such as New York, Paris, Los Angeles and, in 20011, Hong Kong.  It was here in Hong Kong that we first met Katrantzou and had the chance to talk to her about her experience in the city, "For me, the most important thing is being able to be here in the showroom meeting key people from press and buyers--being able to talk about your work and understand what they see in your work.  [My designs are] very colourful and I think it's a great tool to feel positive when you're wearing colour or when you're wearing print.  I've seen so many women be inspired by design and be inspired by art; I think it's something that's quite important in Asia."  Since that faithful meeting here in Hong Kong just 18 months ago, Mary has gone from strength to strength, designing capsule collections for brands such as Topshop and Current/Elliott and continuing to gain both critical and commercial acclaim for her collections.  We explore Katrantzou's journey to fashion greatness in our summary of her work below.

Her Collections

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Pieces from one of her most well-reviewed shows, her Spring 2011 collection, featuring prints from various lavish homes on structured dresses.

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More from her critically and commercially acclaimed Spring 2011 collection.

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She followed that up with an incredibly luxe Faberge egg and Ming vase inspired Fall 2011 collection, which gained her further critical praise.  Katrantzou pushed herself with this collection to come up with a wider range of product beyond just dresses, showing jackets, pants and separates, proving that she's wasn't a "one trick pony".

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Then Katrantzou turned to nature and showed a colourful flora and sea life inspired Spring 2012 collection, which she brought with her to Hong Kong during the London Showrooms initiative with the British Fashion Council in 2011.

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Katrantzou was fast becoming known for her colourful, psychadelic prints.  Not one to be pigeonholed, Mary selected a more muted, neutral colour palette for her Fall 2012 collection.

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But the allure of colourful prints brought her back to designing a vibrant Spring 2013 collection, inspired by travelling.

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Even the models backstage were happy that Mary had returned to her more colourful roots for Spring 2013.

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Katrantzou's Spring 2013 was inspired by travelling, hence the postage and stamp prints featured throughout the collection. 

 

Her Acclaim

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Mary pieces have become a darling of the fashion editorial world.  Stylists love how Katrantzou's whimsical prints immediately bring the page to life.

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Her designs have even been the inspiration for illustrators around the world; this was was created by a fashion illustration artist Sunny Gu.

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Her pieces have since been seen on dozens of street-style stars and fashion icons, such as Vogue Nippon Editor, Anna Dello Russo.

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Anna Dello Russo in another piece by Mary Katrantzou.

 

Her Campaigns

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Katrantzou launched her first campaign with New York photographer Erik Madigan Heck in Fall 2011.

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She then returned to work with him on her Fall 2012 campaign.

 

Her Collaborations

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Then came the call from Topshop to design a capsule collection for the immensely popular high-street brand for Spring 2012.  The pieces maintained Katrantzou's signature prints, done in easier-to-wear shapes and more youthful fabrics. 

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After her recent stellar Spring 2013 travel-inspired collection, Current/Elliott contacted Katrantzou to design a collection for the famous denim label.  Katrantzou stuck to her travel theme, producing a line of printed daywear and denim featuring motifs such as passport stamps.

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More pieces from Katrantzou's line for cult denim favourite, Current/Elliott.

 

Her Future

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For her most recent Fall 2013 collection, Katrantzou really pushed herself to new limits, experimenting with more sophisticated, subdued prints and intricately structured pieces.  She also returned to a more muted colour pallette; proving that she doesn't have to imbue a design with vibrant hues to make her pieces turn heads.

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More subdued, muted prints from her Fall 2013 collection.

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As Katrantzou moved to explore new design ideas and themes for Fall 2013, critics were impressed with her efforts.  I mean, if she can create gorgeous ethereal dresses such as the one above as well as the impeccably structured pieces she has designed in the past, it's safe to say that Katrantzou is definitely a forced to be reckoned with and a is a design powerhouse that is surely here to stay.  We can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

 

Mary Katrantzou is available in Hong Kong at JOYCE.  Mary Katrantzou x Current/Elliott is available in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford.

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