A NEW VINTAGEby Niamh McCooey
If resort collections are meant for traveling, this summer Mary Katrantzou’s woman will take a journey back to the future. Looking to the mod daisies and shift dresses of sixties London, and the cheerful primary colours and voluminous silhouettes that recall the eighties, Katrantzou fashions a collection that is at once nostalgic and visionary, playful and always sophisticated.
Born in Greece and trained both in architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and in fashion at Central St. Martins, Katrantzou made her mark with her signature trompe l’oeil images and digital floral prints. In this collection she does not disappoint, culling motifs from vintage scarves and neckties. She also pushes the concept of ‘image’ to a new dimension; instead of previewing her looks on the runway, Katrantzou releases photographs of them once the clothes arrived in the shops, so that her collection doesn’t pre-sell out.
Although Katrantzou’s resulting images bring to mind Patrick Nagel’s early 1980s new wave fashion illustrations, with strong lips, colour-block style and geometric backgrounds, her designs go beyond a faithful homage; indeed, she layers inspiration to create her unique looks. Perhaps in a nod to Mary Quant, for instance, Katrantzou evokes mod style by scattering daisies on shapes with a flare, like her red wool Mason coat. But she also references her own floral history, appliquéing the guipure lace daisies on the crisp white collar, side-slit pockets and hem. Katrantzou shows the coat fitted smartly over a white cotton blouse, embellished with the same guipure daisies on collar and cuffs. The effect, a double floral collar and cuffs peeking out from under bracelet sleeves, suggests neatly planted rows of blossoms.
This is a short extract of Swinging Sixties Revival by Kate Cavendish, which appears in Selvedge issue 77: the Chakra issue.
Photography by Erik Madigan Heck.