Any fan of a magical escape would have seriously taken a liking to the Mary Katrantzou show for her Autumn/Winter collection showcased this London Fashion Week. The London-based designer hugely took her inspiration from the innovative 1940s Disney film; Fantasia, and her collection was a masterpiece of imagination in breathtaking technicolour.
Held in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, the show was accompanied by a live orchestra playing the moving sounds of Hans Zimmer’s the “Time” which Katrantzou admitted backstage that “I always cry when I hear it”. She expanded her reasoning behind her inspiration by saying “Fantasia allowed me to dream”. As well as referencing the film, she also referenced the musical meaning of a ‘fantasy’ as a free, improvisational composition.
The collection was full of sweet, sugary tones, however, Katrantzou toned down her fantasy world with touches of 1940s tailoring fabricated in bold prints, embellishments and textures. A recurring ‘Mary theme’ came in the form of a tunic top worn over trousers in a jacquard pattern with decorated swans. The collection was full of gorgeous patterned tulle overlay with flower embellishments made from feathers and coloured perspex.
Katrantzou collaborated with Disney in her latest collection and numerous pieces from a cute little velvet dress to a long sophisticated evening gown featured images of fairies and exotic, eastern looking landscapes. Her pieces featured crystal collars and delicate beading which was showcased on items such as the floral brocade coat. Mary Katrantzou’s gowns from the collection are fit for the red carpet, a perfect example of this was the magical floor-length tulle gowns from the finale which created a fairytale with imagery of mythical creatures and trees from Fantasia as well as featuring starlike crystals on a deep blue night sky fabric.
This collection is evident of the classic ‘Mary touch’ with intricate prints that tell a story in themselves and rich intoxicating colours that draw the attention of every eye. Whilst her work is deeply rooted in her understanding of greek culture, tones and colours, her collections have a universal and feel to them that is a product of being both a revolutionary and at the forefront of the print design which is why her work is highly valued from across the runways of London and Paris to the fashionable streets of Shanghai or Tokyo.
Overall (does that sound like I’m ending a school essay or what!?) Mary Katrantzou’s aw17 collection is by far one of my favourites of the season because of the pure magical beauty of the pieces from the Disney inspiration through the film ‘Fantasia’ to the rich and yet still delicate colours that are truly fit for a Princess.
Words by Maija Lily