MARY KATRANTZOU’S digital prints – the thing that set her brand alight in 2009 – should, by now, be but a distant memory. She broke away from them last autumn (they had reached saturation point – it was a well-timed call) with a collection of beautifully embroidered column gowns, and this season she continued along that path – and then some.
What she presented was so highly worked, it’s extraordinary to fathom that she has only been in business for five or so years.
That theme was played out here this, on a lava-like runway of glistening, black rubber rocks. The idea translated to shifting fabrics, which were pulled away to create floating islands of coverage on the body, revealing and concealing against a nude sheer background. The simplest example of that manifested in a pair of roomy sandstone-coloured silk trousers with sheer tulle tux stripes – but what happened next developed into a catalogue of work that looked like it came straight out of a Paris couture atelier.
What she did with a mannish cornflower blue shirt was nothing short of sensational. She kept the body and collar and created a fantasy of guipure lace around it. Lean in closer and you’ll spot albatross, iguanas, and other imagined prehistoric creatures, hybrids of sea and land. Pewter and khaki lace dresses were a romantic interplay of layers and luxurious sheer textures, some kicked out in precision knife pleats, others had camisole tops or were layered in sheer baby doll slips and trimmed in seed bead panels that looked like mounds of glistening caviar.
What these creations will sell for will be anyone’s guess (no doubt, upwards of sky high) but those who can afford it won’t think twice about buying a piece of it. It was stand out, feminine, extremely desirable and it added up to her most accomplished collection to date.