You can bank on Mary Katrantzou to deliver a collection that’s right on the money.
Currency was key for Katrantzou’s S/S 2013 collection at London Fashion Week; showcasing a medley of bank note prints and postage stamp motifs, woven effortlessly together with immaculate tailoring and a scattering of Swarovski crystal.
The sparkling collage of monetary prints and stamp detailing was based conceptually around “world history and global exploration”, this theme consolidating a collection which segued from bold graphic prints in denim and nylon to reams of pastel-hued silk brocade and Swarovski-crystal mesh.
Beginning the show in stark brilliance, Katrantzou created strong, yet simple shapes with bold prints on crisp white sheathes and shifts. Oversized shirt-dresses with short winged sleeves resembled postal beetles carrying messages on their paper-thin backs. Boxy jackets, column pants and collared bowling shirts in printed denim were the canvas for Katrantzou’s strong geometric patterns and graphic symmetry.
Crisp. Like a hundred dollar bill.
The boldness of classical Greek key patterns played against segments of vibrantly-hued flora and fauna. Birds and butterflies flitted across the torso and the serrations of stamp edges ran strong borders around pattern pieces. Tribal totem and Aztec patterns, and classic pilaster shapes all hinted at the historical element Katrantzou says she wanted to encapsulate.
MK says the cashed-up theme was not intended to be a reference to the economic situation in her country of birth, with Greece on the brink of departure from the euro. Always pushing the envelope, the Mary Katrantzou show invitation took the form of a postage stamp with a penny coin embedded in it – common items of little worth, which serve as mementos of the past and “passports” into another time.
Tailored suits and sleeveless blazers broke up the initial graphic boldness, separates in deep blue and green brocade threaded through with the subtle metallic gleam of calligraphic patterns.
Later in the show, billowing folds of silk brocade were akin to moth wings, fluttering and intricately patterned, while simple sheathes in crystal mesh fabric had a mermaid-like luminance, clinging and swaying heavily.
Lustrous, gleaming with palest green and rose hues like the underbelly of a koi fish, or a pile of glossy euro notes, high-neck beaded sweater dresses platformed a printed swirl of pastel-hued drachmas, Deutsche marks and vintage pounds.
Finally, Byzantine architectural references in glistening gold, and pearlescent Oriental art history united in this stunning collection, with elaborate linear patterns running throughout reminiscent of the arterial veins of the London underground.
Never one to shy away from a bold print, the S/S 12 collection is evidence of the confidence and dexterity to be expected from Katrantzou, the same visionary who brought us the typewriter dress of A/W 12 and the oriental teapot shapes of S/S 11.
Intricate, bold and with Katrantzou’s eclectic stamp all over it, this is one signed, sealed, and delivered collection that won’t be returned to sender.