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Entering the cavernous bowels of the Old Fire Brigade in Lambeth High Street (a typically Mary Katrantzou off-the-beaten-track location), we were taken back to last season’s game-changing collection. For those who don’t recall, Katrantzou cast-off her bold prints in favour of a new embellished style. It was perhaps less striking but certainly more finessed. At the time, questions arose as to whether the reign of the print queen was over.
This season, our questions were answered as Katrantzou’s style revolution firmly continued and, with subtle reference to her print affiliation seen in preceding collections, it was clear this new style was here to stay. The Greek designer prefaced her spring/summer 2015 collection with show notes referencing the supercontinent Pangea, and her surrounding ocean, Panthalassa: the birth of planet earth as we know it, with all its flora and fauna. Big thoughts indeed–continental drift married to the shifts in the designer’s own oeuvre. The runway was formed of glittering volcanic rocks which, other than resulting in precarious footing for the models in their vertiginous stilettos, continued the themes of rebirth.
The clothes themselves were in muted tones–colors of rock, sea-green and neon coral reefs, all sprinkled with the diamond glitter of sand. It’s unlike Katrantzou to include so much sparkle, and it gave the collection an air of magic and mystery, which was enforced by the atmospheric sounds of Sigur Ros as models sashayed down the enormous runway. Garments were all about texture, one could almost feel the sand fall between their fingers, or the hard edge of coral, fighting to resist the urge to reach out and touch the collection. Winding lace recalled spreading lava across the bodices of dresses, opaque abstract cut-out shapes placed over sheer bodies like tactically placed tectonic plates, and pleats swished with each step. References to evolution and early reptiles were made in the use of snake print and lizard embellishment, in a collection predominantly composed of dresses of all lengths.
Mary Katrantzou’s latest dresses are sure to be a first port-of-call for those seeking to wow the paparazzi, but there were some separates on the runway, too, which will allow the collection to reach beyond the red carpet and onto the streets (and maybe even the seas)–glittering spaghetti-strapped backless tops, white and taupe silk trousers, and coral miniskirts with neon yellow detailing dripping with black lava and split thigh high, will be irresistible for summer in the city.