Wielding a velvet gloved iron fist into the fashion world
Fashion Ones To Watch: Mary Katrantzou

Business sense mixed with standout designs, Mary Katrantzou is wielding a velvet gloved iron fist into the fashion world.

Or a heart of glass, some would say, judging by her latest collection, part-inspired by glass-blower Peter Layton and the florid art of the 18th Century French rococo; all underpinned with the steely business acumen that got her multiple press notice while still a student at Central Saint Martins.

From her baby-steps at Rhode Island School of Design, print designer Katrantzou had already staked her ambition on a place at London’s premier college for fashion, under the guidance of the Professor Louise Wilson - mentor of the late, great Alexander McQueen. 

It was not long after graduation day that Colette, Paris tastemaker boutique of international cool, was asking to stock her designs. Soon after came her first collection as qualified designer in 2009.

Katrantzou’s perfume bottle collection at home in her native Greece was the inspiration for her perfume bottle dresses that aroused controversy and admiration on release.

Describing herself as an “outcast of the print world”, she is a designer who rarely wears her own designs and is a harsh critic of the print scene. She places her against-the-grain designs in the wider context, comparing her own latest ‘maximalist’ collection to the Versace aesthetic in the ’90s, which operated in the midst of an overall minimal-style era of fashion.

Her latest collection takes on the approach of rococo 18th Century artists, who captured women as beautified objects and says her designs do the same.

Words by Miguel Cullen


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