Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artful Fashion by Mary Katrantzou

I rarely post about the current runway shows, but occasionally a collection comes along that compels me to stop and take notice. On Monday at London Fashion Week, there was a collection by a relative unknown by the name of Mary Katrantzou that combines art and fashion in a novel way.

Photo by Yannis Vlames

Inspired by images form old issues of Architectural Digest and the World of Interiors, the designer created surrealist looks that turn the wearer into a walking sculpture. Images of lavish room interiors are placed on the body in such a way that the effect is like a tromp l'oeil painting. For some outfits, sculptural jewelery pieces seemingly inspired by chandeliers enhance this effect. In one interview I read, Mary Katranzou said "With this collection, I wanted to put the room on the woman, rather than the woman in the room."

Mary Katrantzou has a degree in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design which probably explains the sculptural qualities of the garments she designs. She also graduated from Central Saint Martins in Textile Design where her graduating show was themed around trompe l’oeil and digital prints of oversized jewellery (inspired by Russian Constructivism and early 70s movie posters) featured on dresses.

This is a designer that I'll be keeping my eyes on.  Her looks are available at Harvey Nichols in London and Barneys in the USA, among other stores. To see more of her designs, click here.