Recently given the title “Princess of Print” by the New York Times, Greek designer Mary Katrantzou already had launched her first audience winning collection at London Fashion Week in 2008, the same year she graduated from Central Saint Martins.
Mary’s premium medium of succes is the digital printer, which she uses to print her extravagant digital collages onto garments. “I use digital tools in a very painterly way,” she says. Filling her designs with trompe l’oeil prints like gilded chandeliers, fake rolexes, groomed hedges, pencils, Thai banknotes and all kinds of cool blingy jewels. Each print starts as a Photoshop file on her computer, intuitively, adding elements and mirroring pieces until they feel right. Then, she puts them onto the dresses.
“I started wanting to work a lot with different objects, trying to engineer them around the body, and see what kind of effects that will have in flattering the woman. It’s about trying to do with print, what a black dress does.” Also she interesting ways to work humor into her designs, for instance, her S/S 2011 collection, which described 3-D modeled spaces of hyper-luxury, was titled “C’est ci nes pas une chambre,” or “This is not a room,” as a fun little insiders reference to Magritte’s pipe.
Although Mary is majorly influenced by fashion house Versace, for whom wild, hyper-pigmented prints are a constant motif, unlike Versace, Mary’s prints simultaneously criticize and engage the fashion world’s unquestioning culture of excess. Her 2013 Ready to Wear collection went straight to the source, abandoning the actual symbols of luxury for their currency: international banknotes.
With a newly launched website, a collection of small leather goods, and collaborations with the fashion houses like Current Elliott, Katrantzou has plenty to keep her colorful energies busy.