LONDON--First of all, I would like to thank the seating fairies for granting me a perch on a front row bench for this show--if there is any collection you want to see up close, it is Mary Katrantzou's. I would also like to give a shout-out to whoever writes her show notes: I was riveted. Just this sentence killed me: "No sequin is left unturned." From beginning to end this show was really an aesthetic pleasure to behold. (Forgive me if I sound hyperbolic--as I'm writing this, I'm very tired. But every word is true.)
When I got the invitation, it featured a multi-hued box of crayons, which is how Katrantzou organized her color story this season. Rather than a mix of a million colors on a garment, as has been her MO in the past, she decided to do a show split into seven distinct colorways, where the wearer essentially has on the same color from head-to-toe. She started with white and ended with black and hit pretty much everything other color in between.
Because print is Katrantzou's medium, it is no longer enough to do, say, just florals. The designer looked to everyday objects--spoons, a typewriter, hedges, pencils, hangers--and made prints out of them. When you're clicking through the gallery be sure to look closely. While some, like the red typewriter dress, are obvious, some are so well integrated that it's like looking at a magic eye puzzle.
Katranztzou then took these prints and embellished some of them. Lesage, the famous haute couture French embroidery house, worked with the designer to enhance the prints with sequins and embroidery; this is the first time Lesage has ever worked with a London designer. It's a big deal.
You'd think all that would be enough--put it on a shift dress and be done with it. But no. She made dresses with sculpted sleeves and over sized peplums; chiffon babydolls that had the most gorgeous movement when the models walked; and even long gowns.
Remember the feeling you got as a kid when you opened a brand new box of crayons? That was Mary Katrantzou's fall collection.