Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Mary Katrantzou Resort 2016
Last month Man Repeller published a think piece entitled 'Rainbows Are Trending' highlighting the traction of colourful stripes in fashion. It's distinct from the colourful designs of Jeremy Scott and others in its organisation and taste. Mary Katrantzou released an amazing collection showing how to wear the rainbow the right way using her signature creativity and pragmatism. The clothes are so clean in their design but the colours are simply fantastic. The first few outfits feel more informative on how to wear rainbows- as colourful darts or pleats with strong block colours and simple dresses or with suits. Slowly the collection transitions from stripes being the sole focus to designs featuring artistic renderings of floral arrangements on bright backgrounds. I did love these designs but my heart had already been won by the artistic flare of rainbows and stripes, the likes of which I had never seen before at markets or on the high street which brings me to my next point. As always, you are unlikely to see Katrantzou's looks translated on the high street because the clothes themselves are made with so much love and detail. While accordion pleats can be made quite cheaply, cutting corners and using lower quality fabrics is always apparent.
Unlike so many other designers, Katrantzou's Resort collection does not act as a precursor to the following Spring/ Summer collection. I won't be discussing the latter in a future post, purely because it did not inspire me to the same extent as Fall 2015. That said, I adore the Pre-Fall 2016 collection and think that a number of pieces will be seen in street style given the American cold snap. What's truly great about this designer is an abundance of ideas which are carefully implemented to create wearable pieces of art. It's always deflating to see that designers are being pushed so hard with the current business model system to generate ideas on a three month cycle without being able to fully explore them, as Raf Simons pointed out when bowing out as creative director of Dior. That said- I can only imagine what Katrantzou would be able to achieve were she given the luxury to embellish upon her ideas and test the limits of fashion. She's already done that by revolutionizing a few techniques and using a variety of different materials throughout her body of work whilst always making her clothes commercially accessible. I guess I'm just keen to see whether, given enough time the clothes would slowly become more abstract.
Not to be too obnoxious with what's personal, the last outfits remind me of my own journals and collages. I'm specifically referring to the outfits which overlay a bouquet of flowers over a striped background and those floral designs divided into segments over maxi dresses. I'm not crazy about the shoes but the choice of creating complementary Roman sandals for a Resort collection was sensible if anything else. Similarly, the clutch bags were made with the end goal of accompanying key dresses but I didn't find anything innovative about their design. I suppose I had high expectations given the chunky Mary Jane shoes from Fall 2015 and how much I ranted and raved about them. But to be honest, Resort collections generally don't produce shoes worth raving about (in my personal experience). However, since the clothes were the star of the show I can't complain that much.