5 Minutes With Mary Katrantzou On Her 10th Anniversary
Known and loved for her collections' whimsical prints and feminine flounce, beloved British designer Mary Katrantzou celebrated her 10-year anniversary with online retailer Matches Fashion by presenting an exclusive new line.
Olivia Buckingham sits down with the designer and chats milestones and the next decade at Matches Fashion's new townhouse on 5 Carlos Place in London.
What inspires your designs?
My work is thematic. I design for women who want to stand out and communicate their aesthetic through the clothes they wear. Narrative is very important and it’s translated through print, textile innovation, precision cut silhouettes and the harmony that is created between them.
My world is feminine, bold, intelligent and full of colour. It is authentic and inclusive. To me, fashion should be a projection of our personality and what we value.
Do you design with a particular woman in mind?
I don’t have one muse. I design for strong women who want to stand out and who occupy different roles in their lives. Working as an image maker allowed me to create a very visual world. I have always wanted to challenge the boundaries of imagination and what is considered desirable in fashion.
How important is the female form when it comes to your design aesthetic?
I am a maximalist but also a purist. I work on collaging elements that are seemingly disconnected but their placement on the female body forms an underlying harmony. Women get to experiment with different styles while being confident in their own inherent sense of style. That's what fashion should be about. Experimentation, protection and projection.
You studied design textile in interiors: what made you switch to fashion design?
I grew up around design but not around fashion. It was only when I moved to London, that fashion presented itself to me. I went into my MA at Central Saint Martin's with a very limited knowledge of fashion and was surrounded by peers who had already worked in the industry and wanted to start their own label.
It was exciting playing catch up with decades of fashion history. I had incredible mentors such as Professor Louise Wilson at Central Saint Martins who encouraged me to build my own brand.
How have you and your designs evolved over the 10 years that you've been in the industry?
The brand in its inception was very singular. I employed the advances in technology to precision engineer prints around the female figure, focusing on textile innovation and pushing the boundaries of what you can create through print.
Now my focus has shifted to the narrative, to the reason that a woman feels attracted to the uniqueness of my vision. It's about filtering beauty through design and creating a world that can become a means to communicate one's aesthetic. Women have very diverse roles that they occupy and it's our responsibility to design with that woman in mind.
What would you call “your iconic“ moment in the last ten years?
The SS19 show that marks the 10th anniversary of the brand was a very special moment. We partnered also with Matchesfashion.com to create a "time machine" through the re-edition of 10 looks that represent important moments in the history of the brand. There is no one icon but several moments though this incredible journey.
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Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
As an image-led brand, I would love to explore new fields outside ready-to-wear, such as jewellery and interiors. My aim is to expand the brand beyond today's offering, while keeping its authenticity.
What’s your most prized possession?
Images are the only things I really collect. My archive would be my most prized possession.
How do you define luxury?
Luxury is not about value. It is something cultivated and emotional.
Check out Mary Katrantzou's exclusive 10 Year Anniversary collection for Matches Fashion, and find out more at matchesfashion.com