Sunday, 22 January 2012

Catwalk Obsession - Mary Katrantzou

This is a half and half attempt at a style obsession - while I admire the way Mary Katrantzou wears mostly sleek, chic, stylish black, it is her catwalk designs that I am really drooling over. Anyone who claims to know anything about fashion right now will already know this genius designer's name, and will have already seen (and been blown away by) her catwalk creations. The Greek designer's popularity is rapidly increasing without showing signs of stopping, especially since her SS'12 runway show was so mind-blowing. Yes, the show was weeks ago, but I plan to obsess about her creations now.. (timing was never my strong point).

Katrantzou is renowned for the striking shapes of her designs, along with the bold patterns she chooses to use. These patterns combined with the shapes make her clothes loud, proud and in my opinion, complete masterpieces. They are definitely not for wallflowers, but anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd would find their perfect dress in Mary's collection. I personally am just wishing I had a few hundred (or thousand) spare pounds to splash out a piece - a Mary Katrantzou dress is up there on my wishlist with Louboutins, Chanel & Prada. Recently I have found myself eyeballing all of her old catwalk collections, as well as the new season drop and any online stockists, for inspiration on how to make bold, bright prints work.
As you know, print is one of my favourite trends for SS'12, and I can't help but feel that Mary's designs provoked this trend, or at least helped to fuel it. Of course, other designers have some seriously gorgeous prints out there - including the current love for paisley - but Mary Katrantzou's totally original, show-stopping designs are the best by far. Anyway, I will stop gushing on about how much I wish I had her design talent (or just some of her stuff) and show you exactly why she is brilliant..

These designs are all from the AW'11 catwalk shows, which was when I really began to sit up and take notice of Mary Katrantzou - and you can see why! Every ensemble has a slightly different feel and has its own unique colour scheme and cut. Each piece makes a statement - they are all dramatic, eye-catching and incredibly individual. However, the simple fact that they all sport beautiful, crazy, unusual patterns makes the whole collection cohesive, and means that you know a Katrantzou design when you see one. Fashion editors, bloggers, celebrities and fashion lovers worldwide went wild for Mary, and the only challenge for SS'12 appeared to be topping this one.. which of course she did.

The SS'12 Mary Katrantzou show was better than I could have imagined. Once again, her collection featured an array of bold, artistic, unique prints, but this time they were inspired by nature, specifically flowers - something which was reflected in the flower beds on the runway. I cannot stop looking at these creations.. they are so individual and so fearless, ready to make any girl stand out from the crowd. In this show I also love the way they have been styled, with softly messy, tied back hair juxtaposing the strong clean shapes of the clothes, and a bold lip in a rainbow of colours being applied, giving a real touch of playfulness. Personally, I am lusting after all of these gorgeous dresses, will probably be attempting the mussed-up hair instead, but will most likely not be brave/foolish enough to go for blue lipstick.

I said celebrities went crazy for Mary, and my proof begins here. When the queen of tomboyish quirk, Alexa Chung, wears one of your pieces, you know you've made it. And honestly, I don't think anyone could rock this dress quite like Alexa. Her minimally accessorized take on it, combined with her own gorgeously messy bob lets the pattern do all the talking as well as making her look comfortable in such a bold dress. Effortlessly cool.

Keira Knightley took on Mary Katrantzou in quite a different way.. Somehow, combined with nude heels, no jewellery and Keira's own sweet, English rose looks and soft, straight bob, this midi dress manages to look soft, understated and even a little bit sweet.

Anna Dello Russo is one undeniably stylish lady, so this bold dress was an obvious choice for her. I like that she is choosing to make it work for daytime, and also that she hasn't just gone for the obvious accessories - those blue-green booties are an inspired choice.

This is not the only one of Mary's designs that Rosamund Pike has been seen wearing, but it is certainly my favourite. I cannot get over how gorgeous this blue mini-dress looks, with its abstract, swirling design and gorgeously fitted shape.

Hailee Steinfeld is another one who lets the dress do all the talking. This playful, busy print is perfect for such a young actress - often big designer dresses can look too old for teen stars, but this one is gorgeous. The slightly messy ponytail and big smile are the ideal accessories.

There is not much more I can say about this, other than Claudia Schiffer looks gorgeous. The cut is perfect on her, and I love the simplicity of the design. This may be one of Katrantzou's less busy patterns, but it is still bold, eye-catching and effortlessly glamorous - especially on Claudia!

Dianna Agron is an actress who is often slated for dressing too old for her age, which is why I was glad to see her working such a playful, youthful dress. Like Keira, Dianna has managed to make this bold print look sweet, thanks to her peaches-and-cream complexion and that adorable daisy band in her hair. There really is a Mary Katrantzou dress for everyone!

Now, forgive the terrible quality of this next picture but...

...this is the picture from the Topshop blog, of their model working a dress from the Katrantzou collection! It is supposed to drop in spring this year, but I am unsure exactly when. I am hoping it becomes obvious soon, because I have some saving up to do, since it is bound to be gorgeous.

And that, my lovely readers, is why I cannot get enough of Mary Katrantzou, and am currently depressing myself by searching stockists, only to realise I don't have that much money going spare. Here's to hoping the Topshop collection is reasonably-priced - as in I might pick up a dress for under £150. Because I would give my left arm to own one of Katrantzou's designs (oh, here's the materialistic me again), and I am sure you can understand why..

They are unspeakably bold, like nothing fashion has ever seen before and the patterns are simply divine. Each dress would be perfect both as the sole subject of an outfit, paired with the bare minimum of accessories, or completely clashed up with patterned leggings (as seen on the catwalk) or a bold blazer. As well as making a statement, the strong shapes and cuts are surprisingly flattering, creating silhouettes that are unusual yet beautiful. Every creation is unique, and there would be no blending in with one of these babies - which is perfect if, like me, you love getting noticed for your look. Complete kudos to Mary Katrantzou for basically being a complete creative genius, and driving fashion in a bold, playful, stunning direction. I cannot wait to see what she thinks up next!

Love and kisses, Tara xox
(p.s. bit of a long one here. I admire you incredibly if you actually read it all!)


  1. The TopShop line comes out Feb 17th!

  2. I cannot wait for the collaboration with Topshop. Having seen Karlie Kloss model the piece live on SHOWstudio's website, I am incredulously lusting after the design. What a wonderful synopsis of such an influential designer.

  3. @Anonymous thankyou SO much for the tip-off!

    @buanacainte me neither, I am desperate to get my hands on a dress! glad you liked it :)