ORDRE's Fashion Director, Kirsten Lock, chats to kaleidoscopic print Queen, Mary Katrantzou, on her juxtaposing design influences, the story behind her techniques, maximalist textures, handmade textiles and more.
Watch the video interview here:
Read the interview highlights here:
KL: To delve into your brain, the level of intricacy and detail would be just out of this world. How do you start a collection? Do you do mood board or start with fabrications?
MK: Yes, we always do a mood board. And I think every designer works very differently. My collections are quite thematic and because they are so thematic, I am used to with a much more abstract idea that usually has nothing to do with the Fashion era, or a certain muse. This season was about Modernism. So taking the birth of Modernism to from Victorian Times up to Bauhaus and seeing how those different concepts or ideologies that were formed could influence a collection. And the juxtaposition of both eras in time could kind of melt into one.
KL: And there was so many beautiful pieces in the collection. But if you could choose just three?
MK: Oh - choose just three – that is very difficult! It is so raw in my head; I don’t even have a clear idea of what was showed. But I really like the Pointillism knit dresses. It was kind of creating a pointillist painting on mohair knits so all the embroidery wraps around your body. I really liked them because they are kind of comfy and cosy but they’re spiky and a bit more edgy. So I love those. I love the Bauhaus knits at the beginning. I love the Chesterfield bombers, quite a few pieces. Every collection has different techniques that you want to experiment with and this had a lot of new things that we’ve done so I had a lot of fun working on that collection. It felt like we’re trying out new things so yeah it’s different.
KL: And there’s so many different techniques and textures that you play with. Where are you sourcing all these fabrics from?
MK: A lot of the fabrics, we create ourselves. So, all the Abasan textiles that were traditional kind of woven pieces, we created our own. The techniques that we use in the knitwear, we created and the jacquards, we created ourselves. So you know, a lot of the work that happens with me is created on the textile side because that’s my background. A lot of techniques and a lot of textile innovation every season and it’s about finding a form to fit and create a context for all that to exist.
KL: Do you want to tell me a little bit about Victorian dresses?
MK: So this is one of the Intarsia Bauhaus Victorian dresses I was talking about. You know where the structure of the sleeve and the way it’s padded is very Bauhaus-esque but the drape and the bust is very Victorian and then it’s a collage of different elements taken from Bauhaus posters and also Victorian tiles and Victorian patches. So that’s that. There’s a faux fur that we created in the pattern of Victorian tiles and I think there is something in the geometry of that, that you would find in a Bauhaus building in terms of the architecture. So it’s kind of nice to see it in the same light. These pieces were fun to do. They almost feel dangerous with their spikes on the carpet motive.
KL: The amount of hours that would have gone into these, honestly …
MK: I mean you know a lot of it is deliberately intensive but then there’s pieces like these where it’s all about the form that you see in a woman.
KL: Which also speaks to your DNA because you are often quite structured.
MK: Yeah I think when I started, I started quite structured. It was nice to bring that back but in a different way. And my brand is turning 10 this year. So you know it’s a moment when you want to feel self reflection and look back at what you have done before and kind of revisit but in a new way. That’s what we did with some of the pieces.
KL: And I hear that those buyers around the world that aren't travelling can now watch your show in Virtual Reality?
MK: I think you know that is what every designer wants. To be able to create that moment that you share, because it is so short that moment, you are then able to share it with friends and family, professionally. Actually, probably all friends and family around the world! It’s great to share that with your buyers and allow them to kind of take a snippet of how that moment felt in London.