Posts Tagged ‘Mary Katrantzou’
Must take note: The first time I came upon Mary Katrantzou, I couldn’t help but think she was jumping on the graphic-print bandwagon. As you can imagine, things have changed. Drastically. Throughout the seasons, Katrantzou has come to own the print. She stays within the confines, preferring to cultivate her art. This is important; many designers of her generation want to be “unpredictable”, which is cool. But why tread into unknown territories?
For this collection, dresses are longer, skirts are structured, and embellishments are “3D”: you can try, if you must, to pluck the flower from the garden, but it is, still, just a dress.
Shout out to FataleFashion for providing the video.
Patterned silk dress via farfetch
Despite the emotional roller coaster I experienced while living in London, I couldn’t help but be enamoured by its thriving fashion energy. It is the land of excess – in a lot of ways – but it’s also an open platform to explore your style identity. Every street corner, every strip hangs on a cultural limb- and that includes fashion. So it is no surprise that all my favourite fashion magazines – and designers – with the exception of France, are British.
Today, I came across an article on British Vogue announcing a new designer collaboration with the beloved UK-concept brand Topshop. The lucky craftsman happens to be David Koma – a designer I have profiled on this blog:
David Koma for Topshop via Susie Bubble
and a favourite by the likes of Beyoncé and Girls Aloud front woman Cheryl Cole. I didn’t get to read the article in its entirety, but today, while having lunch, I came upon a piece in i-D by Sarah Mower, an acclaimed fashion journalist and Ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council. I’ve not finished the article yet, but it was an elaboration of the speech she made during the spring/summer 2011 NEWGEN awards late last year.
The article came after a 12-page layout of models all wear young, fresh designers. The pages highlighted pull quotes from buyers and the like within London’s high-profile fashion world. But what caught me was when Ms. Mower said the industry in London is known for its keen ability to “share and help one another.”
It may seem like a contradictory to provide a negative review on the film “Dressed,” but the problem that I have with the film is that it’s a director’s bandwagon attempt to cash in on a trend that has already come to pass. Not only that, it doesn’t help the hundreds, if not thousands of young hopefuls who need help furthering their fashion careers.
This is, by far, not the first time Topshop has collaborated with new designers. There are a stream of them:
Christopher Kane (three times)
Kate Moss for GOD’s sake
And a slew of others lesser known ones.
*All other images courtesy of British Vogue
A lot of times, it seems as though every city under the sun supports new talent except Toronto. Mind you, we do have the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the Fashion Design Council of Canada (if you have thousands of dollars and should be “Toronto”), and a lot of local local publications show their support. We’ve made an attempt at Project Runway, it’s true. But it’s not enough. Not when Canada’s freshest talent, such as the aforementioned Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jean-Pierre Braganza, Calla Haynes and Thomas Tait choose to cultivate and carry on their careers in cities that much more expensive than be here. Our department stores, on the other hand ‘showcase’ young designers once they’ve received accolades elsewhere, and seem up for collaborations with even other fashion stores, before taking up homegrown talent.
Do I digress? No. For I too seem to find it much easier to get on in London, despite its faults, than in Toronto. But maybe it is not Toronto’s fault. It’s simply underdeveloped on the fashion front. And, as it turns out, the problem extends well beyond fashion. Canada, writ-large, is an underdeveloped country. And, as it turns out, this city is going down the gravy train. So, as it seems, there’s no where else to go, if you want to ‘make it’, but… out.
When I look at Australian-born, New York-based fashion designer Michael Angel’s collection, I can’t help but see the uncanny similarities between him and Mary Katrantzou. Obviously not every living detail, but the overall concept seems to derive from the core of similar mindsets.
Michael Angel’s power – when not playing with trompe l’oeil – is in how he contrasts fiery digital print with monochrome, minimalist designs. It’s hard out there right now, no doubt. But with a coming soon stockist (according to his website), yet constant mentions in all the last fashion magazines, when can I expect to walk into a fashion store and see some stock?
We all know that digital print is having an explosive moment in the fashion world, but can it be over played? One has to wonder. While Ms. Katrantzou’s the ‘it princess’, Angel’s been chugging along; he’s got a stacked press section on his site, and he’s even launched an e-online shop. I still don’t – for some reason – feel that he’s really got the true recognition he deserves. But I digress.
Lets see what’ll happen.
Betsey Johnson Spring/Summer 2010
ASHISH Acid Green,Sequined one-shoulder body con dress in colourful animal print.
Animal skin is having a moment – for the gazillionth time – but the emphasis is more on traditional brown leopard or black-and-white zebra prints. Colourful animal prints were an obvious theme for more edgy designers in their collections, but I didn’t really find it embraced by the masses. I can’t really guess why, except maybe it was too eccentric – too `80s retro. And you know, that’s okay, but colourful animal print, when you really look at it, is a timeless fashion insignia. You can throw on a black blazer to give it a more contemporary feel, or if you’re rock/punk influenced (like me) you can accentuate it with a leather biker jacket for that extra glam. There’s so much you can do with it, you just have to let your imagination run wild.
Paul & Joe Sister‘s Tiffany Aqua Alba silk-chiffon dress with empire-line
Every woman is going to be wearing Tiffany aqua for spring/summer 2010. Especially if it’s a frilly, floaty chiffon dress with drapings and ruches. Tiffany aqua has traditionally been used for bridesmaid dresses – particularly outdoor weddings, as the accents in the sky and trees compliment it’s placid flavour. Anyone can pull it off, but the colour is genuinely flattering on darker skin with golden undertones, and it’s wise to keep accessories and add ons to a minimum.
Basso & Brooke Spring/Summer 2010
JONATHAN SAUNDERS Benwell, multicoloured graphic printed dress.
Contrary to Mr. Tim Blanks review on Style.com, Basso & Brooke’s s/s 2010 collection was most definitely a highlight of all shows. Maybe I’m biased; I’ve been a fan of the line since their muse, Namalee Bolle, introduced me to it two years ago. Not only that, it’s obvious (to me at least) that they’ve thrust the very British new rave movement into the mainstream through fashion. And its been adapted by designers who have either toned the concept down (Jonathan Saunders), or intensified it (Mary Katrantzou). It may be a bit too much for some, but if you’ve followed new rave (or NU-rave as it’s also known) at some point, then you get what B&B were trying to convey through their graphic digital print. But maybe that’s why Mr. Blanks didn’t get it, he’s not in touch with this bombilate, colourful era.
Calvin Klein Spring/Summer 2010
HALSTON Citron yellow Silk-blend batwing dress
Yellow doesn’t have to just be worn in spring or summer. According to the site crystal-cure.com, wearing yellow “adds clarity to decision-making, sharper concentration skills and protection from lethargy and depression during dull weather.” Maybe it’s a good idea to wear it during harsh winter months and gloomy days to keep your spirits up. Yellow is clean and crisp. Safer than white or cream, yet more serious than pink, the colour yellow represents wisdom; particularly when worn in dusty or citrus hues with a minimal concept structure (pictured).
Images courtesy of:
Those lucky enough to be in or around the London area December 7th will have priority access to Rosalind Keep‘s Trompe L’Oeil collection.
The new designer’s collection is a collaboration with high-street retailer Oasis and its gorgeous minimalist concept is already a rising trend on the catwalk: designer Mary Katrantzou infamously spear-headed the trend for both her A/W 2009/2010 and S/S 2010 collection.
While I’m not sure if Ms. Keep plans to make this statement her trademark, she’s having fun with the concept for meantime and it looks like a jackpot.
Greek-born, London-based fashion designer Mary Katrantzou is not the first to capitalize on the new wave/futuristism concept, but she is one of the few that’s helping to trailblaze it from graphic-print tee design to full-fledged fashion elegance.
Debuting in London Fashion Week for the fall 2009 segment, her design concept consisted of perfume bottle images that adopted the outline of a woman’s body. As you can imagine, the collection created quite a buzz amongst fashion insiders. But spring/summer 2010 was an intensified version of the trompe l’oeil patterns with flagrant references of Egypt – maybe not intentionally on her part – you can certainly see the Nemes crown design worn by Pharaohs and the red sea. Other fabulous emphasis in Katrantzou’s design was placed on abstract digitalism, a UK designers tendency to incorporate futurism, new wave and explosions of colour.