Mary Katrantzou's Follies

There's been much fanfare surrounding Mary Katrantzou's designs lately, specifically her surrealist trample l'oeil prints and lampshade silhouettes. But the London-based designer is living up to the hype masterfully. For her most recent showing, Katrantzou sent models down the runway resembling human carousels, marvels to look at from all angles, both for their prints and the shapes of their garments. In the past, she's noted that her prints are actually engineered to the body, rendering them as integral a component to the garment as the cut and construction of its fabric. Hearing that, I can't help but think of Michelangelo, who was said to look at a block of marble and see the lines and shape of his sculpture within the veins and streaks of color before he even reached for his tools.

As fantastical as some of Katrantzou's designs may look, she isn't fashioning art for art's sake. Though her long-term commercial viability is still yet to be seen, her recent collaborations with TopShop and Longchamp are savvy means of subsidizing her primary line, while business may still be finding its legs.

I had the chance to interview Katrantzou in late 2010, still high on her Swiss Textiles Award win. Read it here.

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