Of couriers and commerce – Mary Katrantzou’s smart, crazy and of-the-minute S/S 2013 collection
Mary Katrantzou showed her S/S 2013 collection yesterday at London Fashion Week in the Topshop Show Space, her 10th since her debut A/W 2008 show. (She also opened the Central St Martins show on the year of her graduation and …
Mary Katrantzou showed her S/S 2013 collection yesterday at London Fashion Week in the Topshop Show Space, her 10th since her debut A/W 2008 show. (She also opened the Central St Martins show on the year of her graduation and was subsequently awarded NEWGEN sponsorship for six seasons, from 2009-2011.
Last season’s show was a testament to Katrantzou’s creativity, and I’m not just talking figuratively – dresses were adorned with pencils, crayons, clocks and typewriters. This season, Katrantzou turned to commerce and couriers, or, rather, the physical prints of money and stamps, with billowing palazzo shapes, A-line, strapless dresses and subtle nods to the 1950s in terms of dress shapes and silhouettes.
For those who feared Katrantazou’s “signature” digital prints and feminine shapes were in danger of growing stale, this latest collection proves that the Greek has a few more tricks up her sleeve than might be listed under her “aesthetics” bracket. Trouser suits, for example, were an unexpected move, and she’s also loosened up the shapes of her dresses, meaning they’re far from the bodycon of past seasons. That all said, these items are unmistakeably Katrantzou. Impressive.
The most worrying thought, in fact, to come out of this latest show is the realisation that Katrantzou is probably not long for the London scene; it can only be a matter of seasons (one? two?) before she moves towards Paris and realises her couture ambitions; it’s not entirely clear in the photographs but several of these dresses were in metallic, iridescent fabrics. These are not the off-the-rack, ready-to-wear garments produced by many of her London contemporaries. (No wonder her catwalk creations don’t always make it, intact, to sales racks.)
Shoes for Katrantzou’s show were designed by none other than Christian Louboutin, which is a testament to her clout, although perhaps not worth pointing out as it’s clear that the fashion world has been fawning over Katrantzou for several seasons now (and will do for several to come).
If my wordy gushing hasn’t made it entirely clear: I loved this show. The shapes felt so gorgeous and modern, and light, which is, I think, what the fashion world needs after the heavy, boxy shapes and digital prints of A/W. Also, the mixture of graphic stamp prints with tribal accents, all on a white background was just on the right side of kitschy, and not all that easily emulated, which will mean that Katrantzou continues to influence, rather than be plainly ripped off.
All I’m hoping for now is some kind of diffusion line; while I would love to own this dress (above), I’m not quite sure I’m up to forking out £1,000-plus for it . . . c’mon Mary, if Victoria Beckham can go cheap(er), surely you can too?