For me Mary Katrantzou just keeps getting better and better. At first I found her strong silhouettes a bit harsh, but now her fabulous prints have well and truly won me over. Her recent capsule collection for Topshop has brought her into the mainstream and last year she won the Emerging Talent Award at the British Fashion Awards.
Katrantzou’s lampshade dresses were still present in her AW12 collection, but knitted styles and ruffled skirts softened the overall aesthetic. Dresses were printed with spoons, phone dials, typewriter keys, luggage tassels and clothes hangers in repeat pattern to create a domestic affair. The graphic nature of which, was easy to miss unless you looked up close. One spectacular dress was even made with real yellow school pencils. With long sleeves and a structured bodice, the skirt of the dress was covered in waves of curved pencils and framed with a tropical ruffle trim. The bodice featured a beaded flower motif and the sleeves too were printed and finished with beads. It was like a sweet shop and stationers combined.
Other prints included bows, presents, architecture and florals. Katrantzou does anything but hide behind print though, as Victorian bustle dresses and Elizabethan corsetry show great technical skill. Intense thought has clearly gone into the placing of every seam and individual bead. Alongside dresses were floor skimming skirts, trousers suits and capes. Mohair knits were there for those looking for less daring styles – patterned knitted sweaters with chunky roll necks, knitted lace effect dresses with embroidery, even tinsel arms (I’m sensing tinsel as a trend next winter?).
An intriguing collection; you can always trust Mary to play with your mind. If you are a fan, watch out for her new collaboration with Longchamp. Two handbags inspired by architecture from New York and Asian temples.