In life and art, it’s not always the final product that’s so interesting, so much as the inspiration that leads to the product—the ignition that lights the fire.
And in fashion, the inspiration that results in a collection is what tends to make it so compelling.
From footwear inspired-dresses to walking perfume bottles to international postage stamp prints, we can always rely on Mary Katrantzou for the greatest of inspiration stories (and of course the greatest use of prints, too).
With a vibrant and dynamic collection for Autumn/Winter 2014 at London Fashion Week, Katrantzou pulls it off again. Each of the pieces, very different in their own right, flowed seamlessly together, and though more subtle this time, seem to make a grand statement still.
She brings us around the world with her latest, taking us on a tour through the animal kingdom with subtle cheetah prints on boxy, oversized suit jackets fit for the concrete jungle, and into tropical seas with dresses that shimmer like the scales of a tetra, a delicate flow of pleated fabric that resembles the delicate tail of a guppy. We land in the Middle East, where dresses fit for the royalty of Cleopatra are embellished with intricate Egyptian designs that shimmer undyingly, staking hold of their feminine power. Extending from the nape of the neck to the toe, silhouettes are long and powerful, middle slits adding a feel of modernity, while wafting through the air is the perfume of Ancient Greece, perhaps paying tribute to the designer’s birthplace of Athens.
But while travelling the world, homesickness can linger in our hearts. And while drawing on her diverse background, Katrantzou reminds us of home; the architecture of structured forms and metallic fabrics are supported with hardware, while the pleasantries of our living room interiors are replicated by the subtle geometric shapes half-hidden beneath a lengthy, flowing drape. Tailoring and detail were top of mind for the designer best known for her painterly prints. She even noted backstage to Fashionista.ca that one gown consisted of 750,000 stitches, making this her most detailed collection to date.
With a path to fashion that was indirect, first taking her to architecture and then to interior design before delivering her to her many brilliant successes, we can all but feel the references to her own life here.
But with her worldly collection, one must wonder whether Katrantzou was saying something more in her collection, perhaps something as big as life itself.
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See the Mary Katrantzou LFW AW14 show here.