Originally from Athens, Mary Katrantzou moved to America in 2003 in order to study at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, afterwhich she transferred to Central Saint Martins.
Mary Katrantzou has a very distinct style where she fuses her knowledge of textile design into fashion. Her mother was an interior designer and her father trained in textile engineering. Graduating from her Bachelor course in 2005, Katrantzou switched her focus from prints for interiors to fashion prints. Whilst collaborating with Sophia Kokosalaki in 2006, Katrantzou managed to build up a portfolio for the Central Saint Martins Master Fashion Textiles course. Later, in 2008 she opened the graduating show - Her collection was nominated for the Harrods and L'Oreal Profession Award. [Wikipedia] She includes a lot of visual illusions in her digital printed garments. She sculpts and moulds the body of her clients and models though the position of of the prints. Her clothing is visually deceptive due to these prints that mould the body in a particular way. For example her 2009 A/W collection was inspired by perfume bottles as depicted in the picture below. This shows the way in which the prints shape and mould the body.
What i find interesting about her clothing:
Even though her clothing is commercial, it is not very conventional. This sets her apart from the rest due to the riot of colours in her garments. This colours evoke a lot of different kinds of emotions. Her clothing consists of pleats, geometric designs, contrasting bold colours.
Katrantzou is known to wear only black - i believe she wears black as a disconnect from the colour that her beautiful garments possess. If one were to look at her clothes without any knowledge of its background and concept, one would believe that the designer is a maximalist due to the outpour of colour however, in reality Katrantzou fuses the maximalism in her colors with the purism in her concepts, lines and structures.
“Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa.”
"Mary Katrantzou’s thematic collections revolve around an icon of luxury, looking for the filtered beauty within it; an object from art or design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real. Previous seasons have seen collections based on perfume bottles, artisan blown glass, interiors and objects of Art, vintage postage stamps and landscapes, to name a few, while keeping the printed image central to her aesthetic. Print, being so visual, has allowed her to create her own distinctive world but in the visual language that she creates, colour texture and shape are equally important to print; creating something new, something innovative and something that people will appreciate for its intelligent design aesthetic, as well as its function."[https://www.marykatrantzou.com/biography]
Bold & Beautiful
Katrantzou's garments are not looked upon as conventional, however she displays her garments in such a way in fashion shows wherein she normalises her clothing by extracting elements of her clothing and adding them into the backdrop. She creates a niche for her own garments wherein they become conventional.