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When uttered, the name Mary Katrantzou conjures images of strong digital prints, clashing colors, and structured lines. The young Greek designer’s collections have always injected a tromple l’oeil humor, capable of translating to the red carpet and cocktail parties alike.
This season, as we took our seats in the vast gallery at Phillip’s Auction House in Victoria and the lights went down, we waited to see another collection of that all-familiar, all-Katrantzou fearless digi-bold print. We waited. And we waited. And as the first models walked out, we waited some more. But we were given something else this season – a brand new Katrantzou era.
The collection was a bold move. The designer (perhaps momentarily – only time will tell) abandoned her signature style, in a savvy realisation it may have had its heyday, and presented a mature and thoroughly elegant collection.
The show notes spoke of finding inspiration everywhere – from “the symbolic exchange of a stop sign,” to “the symbolic charge of a rose.” It referenced uniforms – of bakers, butchers and mechanics. These inspirations were translated into ground-skimming pleated maxi-dresses, embellishments, brocades and transformed butcher’s aprons, buckled over shoulders with gold clips.
Sporty silhouettes were combined with pattern presented in a novel manner – cookie cutter embellishments, silver lined leopard print, lace patterned with tiny road-signs and heraldic insignia. Texture was utilised spectacularly – fur jumpers, pleated capes draped over shoulders, sequins, chain mail and cut-outs. The hues were rich with emerald greens and burgundies alongside decadent golds and silvers. Hair was loose and make-up was minimal. This was all about the clothes.
As models walked to the ethereal music, weaving in between each other in a choreographed move, which ensured we saw each look from various angles, it was on everyone’s lips that it was Katrantzou like we’ve never seen her before. This collection was a real game changer.