It was an exploration of cosmic-weightlessness at Mary Katrantzou SS16.
The rather expansive conceptual backdrop to Mary Katrantzou’s collection this time around was “an exploration of exploration” encompassing “two ideologies, cosmic and chaos”. Very broad ideas then, both mentally and spatially, but they didn’t weigh down the clothes with their heft. Instead, there was a lightness of touch in the designs which were frequently cut into graceful ruffles and finely sculpted hems: all couture-esque, highly skilled, atelier work.
The sense of expanse manifested itself most clearly in the range of intricate embroidery and patterns on show. That term “cosmic” seemed an apt descriptor for some of the fabrics used, which glinted and astounded in their sheer intricate complexity: mini-diamond quilts took on a metallic sheen while at times four different types and scales of floral merged together on a single piece. It was a balancing act that was anything but simple.
All Things Great & Small
If exploration was at the forefront of Katrantzou’s mind during the conception of this collection, then it should come as no surprise that she cherry-picked cuts and styles from all over the world: Romanian gypsy dresses and folk-inspired chic from the Balkans were both present alongside the traditional French high-fashion refinement that characterised much of the collection. Ironically, given the high-minded vastness of her theoretical inspiration, the biggest takeaway from the show was an admiration for the microcosmic excellence of Katrantzou’s clothes: the perfect poise of her cuts, the precision involved in those delicate mazes of lace, and the carefully engineered quality of that structural layering.
Words: Benji Walters