I remember a couple of years back when I decided to play around with my own creations- mini dresses and coats, all with different motifs and patters. In those creations, I put in repetitions of certain objects so they created a pattern- pasta shells round the edges, flower ‘stamps’ all over the sleeves. Back then it was just playing around and experimenting with different effects, but it seems than now it is a formula for a successful collection!
This is certainly the case with Mary Kantrantzou, whose beautiful silk dresses had household kitchen items from Lesange emblazoned into the patterns. With her previous collections, the designer had not strayed away from brights, and with this A/W collection she did not been to the ‘all-black’ rule- once again, there was grass green, yellow, red and blue. With spoons surrounding the cuffs, is this a complete different fashion style? Based on images customized in Photoshop, then printed repeatedly onto the best quality fabrics, Mary Kantrantzou has managed to join the ranks of designers like Peter Pilotto and Marc Jacobs. The designers of this year managed to combine the fun of fashion by print and the elegance with their choice of high quality materials.
This collection was described by the designer to be mainly composed of waves- she mixes architectural high necks with flowing skirts and peplums on long skirts for contrast. Mixing formal dresses with wild ruffle waves of material on the back allows for a freedom of movement which is usually not seen it the more structures pieces, yet in this case it works very well. Mary Kantrantzou is very focused around the shapes that the objects in the pattern create- whether they outline the waist, focus solely on the breast area or create illusion effects on the silhouette. Another point with her collection is that there is no limitation to just one or two shapes or lengths- there are very different designs, allowing the viewers to choose for themselves if they prefer a lighter, more youthful piece or something structured and strong. With this seasons designs, she has also gone into trousers- in beautifully saturated colors of gold and white, which has worked out very well in some of the more casual pieces, paired with a similarly printed jacket or with a thick knit sweater in autumnal hues.
This is also a different side to her creations- truly showing that to be a designer, you need to evolve, not just stay with one aesthetic. Her similarly patterned knits were not as adventurous in the patterns, but a work of art visually- with monochrome sleeves and a patterned body, they incorporated a strict elegance into a comfortable knit. This is surely something to point out to the critics who might have questioned her choice of materials for previous collections.
As a true graduate of Central Saint Martins, her experimentations with pattern didn’t solely stay two dimensional. One of short designs in pink and yellow had a skirt made of yellow pencils, formed into an illusional curve. The cuts are very clear- there is nothing to obstruct the quality of the print, making the creations both modern and artistic. When someone would have told you that in the future, it would be spoons, watches, mazes, guitars and typewriters which appeared on the most highly regarded designers, would you have believed them…?