Award-winning designer Mary Katrantzou clearly knows how to celebrate a birthday. In honour of the tenth anniversary of her hugely successful label’s inception, the designer will unveil an exhibition of her most iconic pieces and be just the second fashion brand to collaborate with Victoria’s Secret for its annual lingerie show.
Bright, bold colours and daring silhouettes have become a trademark of the woman dubbed ‘Mary, Queen of Prints’, who is both famous and loved for creating pieces that bring chaos and colour to life through organised design.
This month, MATCHESFASHION.COM honoured the fashion designer with the launch of an exclusive collection featuring 10 looks from her eponymous brand’s archives. The e-commerce site celebrated both the collection and Mary Katrantzou brand milestone with a star-studded London event that drew celebrities, style icons and even royalty.
To pay tribute to the woman who has become synonymous with technicolour prints, here are 10 fascinating facts to know about Katrantzou on her 10th anniversary as a designer.
- SHE IS A ‘BUSINESS OF FASHION 500’ ALUMNI
A place as one of the ‘BOF 500’ elite is a coveted position and one reserved for only the most talented and influential people in the industry. The acclaimed designer was awarded the title after extensive nominations from major industry players like editors and stylists, and was recognised as a part of the professional fashion index for her “kaleidoscopic, hyper-real prints and demi-couture artistry”.
- HER DESIGNS ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMPLEX IN FASHION
In 2012, when the designer was becoming a globally recognised up-and-comer, she was unable to offer pre-collections due to the labour and time-intensive process required for creating her detailed designs. “We worked out that it takes on average four days to create a print, and we create about 40 prints a collection, so we need 160 days – that’s eight months for one person, four months for two people,” she said in an interview at the time. Her label is the epitome of slow fashion, which added to its exclusive allure.
- WHILE HER COLLECTIONS ARE BOLD, SHE ONLY WEARS BLACK
Many creatives are known for their almost uniform-like attire (see Steve jobs and his classic black turtlenecks) but you wouldn’t expect a designer who has become a sensation for her inordinate prints would stick to a palette so plain. When asked in an interview about this unusual choice of uniform, Katrantzou said: “I think there are two types of designers: those who wear their own clothes and become an advocate for their brand, and those who dress in monochrome to shift the focus away from themselves and on to their work. I’m definitely the latter”.
- SHE IS OF GREEK HERITAGE BUT LONDON BASED
In the past, Katrantzou has mentioned that growing up Greek meant a career in fashion was never an option. She even studied architecture before choosing to explore her work in textiles and she has said the background of learning about structural design helped her develop the basis of her clothes. “I suppose it’s my architectural ambition that comes into play,” she has said. “Once I started working on clothes I was interested in how the silhouette worked in 3-D around the body.”
- Both hER PARENTS ARE ALSO CREATIVES
Whilst her Greek heritage may have deterred her in the beginning from following fashion design, she was always surrounded by two parents who shared a similar drive for creativity – it clearly runs in the family. Her dad is trained in textile design and her mum is an interior designer.
- THE LAMPSHADE SKIRT WAS A CAREER CHANGING DESIGN
A major turning point in Mary Katrantzou’s career was the debut of her lampshade skirt collection for Spring/Summer 2011. This release marked the beginning of her status as a must-have desiger, and was around the same time she was awarded a British Fashion Award fthe or best up-and-coming designer. The following year also brought continued success and growth for her brand with a slew of subsequent accolades to boot.
- SHE LEARNED FROM STELLA MCCARTNEY AND ALEXANDER MCQUEEN’S MENTOR
It was during her studies at Central Saint Martins School of Fashion that the young designer crossed paths with Professor Louise Wilson, who mentored iconic designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Her collection upon graduating is still talked about to this day as a monumental moment in her design career, and the beginning of her hyper-realistic print reign.
- SHE HAS DRESSED SOME OF HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST CELEBS
Michelle Obama, Zendaya and Sarah Jessica Parker are just a few of the many high-profile stars that have been dressed by the Queen Of Prints. During Zendaya’s press tour for The Greatest Showman, she wore an eccentric polka dot number from the brand’s SS18 collection for an appearance on The Today Show. Michelle Obama however, chose a more playful and feminine look, opting for a floral fit-and-flare dress on a FLOTUS trip in London during 2015.
- SHE HAS COLLABORATED WITH A NUMBER OF GLOBAL FASHION BRANDS
Given her own brand’s image is so distinct and iconic, it’s no wonder that others have been eager to collaborate. The MATCHESFASHION.COM archive collection is one of the latest partnerships for the label, with past projects including Adidas, Disney, Topshop and Colette in Paris before its closure. These are limited edition collectors’ pieces, with prices from $1731 to a hefty $6279 for the ruffle-fronted mini-dress reflecting their status. See here for more details.
- MARY KATRANTZOU x VICTORIA’S SECRET IS HAPPENING in 2018
The designer already has an impressive slew of partnerships to her brand CV, but this year she will be adding a VS to the list. Following successful Balmain x Victoria’s Secret collaboration of 2017, Mary Katrantzou will the brand will team with the lingerie icon to co-create a limited collection to be featured in its next runway show. The Brit has already spoken about her ideas for the collaboration. “It’s designed to empower women to have fun with their undergarments and feel free to explore pattern and colour as a second skin,” she has said.
more of MATCHESFASHION.com’s MARY KATRANTZOU 10-YEAR COLLECTION
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