Mary Katrantzou Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 London
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In recent seasons there’s been an extraordinary second show at Mary Katrantzou, the one surrounding the catwalk; a parade of her previous designs popping up vividly amid the otherwise customarily black-clad audience. Very few brands, let alone so young, enjoy the same on-show popularity of their clothes but that’s part of the magic of the instantly recognizable stamp of Katrantzou.

This season’s collection followed suit; an indulgently trompe l’oeil ode to another everyday object, though one rarely dissected and exhibited across the body: the shoe. It was the object of blown up digital prints of laces, eyelets, and brogue perforations, enveloping the body in cleverly flattering, slinky ways. Then there were glossy digital florals, peaking from underneath the fetishistic figurative clasps; perhaps a nod to the industry’s fervent passion for the shoe.  The sheer brilliance of the colours and contrasts onto cleaner silhouettes from the first part of the collection seemed to echo Katrantzou’s graduate Central Saint Martins show of enlarged perfume bottles; like then, there seemed to be a conscious simplicity of form, focused on letting the prints speak.

The second part spun a whole different tale, with crystal-embellished dresses wrapped deliciously around the body. A nod to the Marie Antoinette-style slipper, in miniature version they might as well have been precious jewellery boxes or minaudières. It was only the final looks, with oversized sculptural pleats running across the bust that felt like an overdose of print, colour and fabric. Taken apart, they showed Katrantzou’s beautiful collaboration with the legendary Maison Lesage in Paris, but together they made more of an embarras de richesses. Still, carving a niche for herself and staying at its forefront at a time when pretty much anyone can print digitally on fabric, Katrantzou has proven her resilience and versatility in an industry that is never satisfied with just the one thing; a fact doubly confirmed by her growing Katrantzou-clad audience. 



- Maria Dimitrova

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