5 minutes with Mary Katrantzou

May 30, 2011


Mary Katrantzou is often referred to as the ‘Print Princess’. The Athens-born designer’s intelligent use of illusory digital print, inspired by the art of trompe l’oeil, has wowed the fashion world since the launch of her label in 2009.

Mary Katrantzou’s clothes have been worn by some of the world’s most stylish women; from Claudia Schiffer to Anna Dello Russo, so when WhatSheWears had a chance to meet her in person at “Art of Fashion”, this is what we asked her :

Watch the video of the interview by clicking on the image above. It’s quite hard to hear so I’ve transcribed the interview for you below.

WSW:  Tonight’s “Art of Fashion” exhibition is an ode to your fashion designs – do you think that art and fashion are linked?

MK: They dialogue I think. It’s something that’s inspired all my collections. I think that it makes sense and [the Baroque chapel at IMMA] is an amazing setting.

WSW: Which of your designs are you showcasing here at the Irish museum of modern art tonight and in Brown Thomas windows this week?

MK: I’m showing a mini retrospective of my not so long career in fashion which spans from autumn winter 09 to autumn winter 11.

It ranges from collections inspired by eighteenth century society paintings to perfume bottles,  interiors to blown glass; so everything’s relating back to art.

WSW: How did you get your start in fashion design?

MK: It happened gradually. I transferred from architecture to Central St. Martins to study textiles and then I self taught myself how to work with Photoshop and print imaging. I was working on hyper-real imagery that made much more sense in fashion [than textiles].

So then I did an MA in Fashion in St. Martins again and was really lucky to gain the support of Louise Wilson, my professor but also Sarah Mower who wrote an amazing review on Style.com and ever since I’ve grown the business. Brown Thomas has stocked my collections for the past three seasons now and it’s nice to see the label grow.

WSW: How does art influence your fashion?

MK: Directly. It’s about looking into art and filtering the beauty as it’s seen and applying it into design; so for a press release for my last season collection which was inspired by objects d’art, there was a quote saying that I wanted to be a work of art.

And that’s what I try and do, sometimes in a very direct literal way, sometimes in a more commercial sense; creating each concept around the female figure but giving each design something unique, like a room print or a perfume print – but always with great respect to the female silhouette.

WSW: What can we expect to see from Mary Katrantzou for autumn winter 11?

MK: Autumn winter was a natural progression from spring summer 11 which was based on interiors inspired by rooms. The idea came from old issues of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors, which  have highly stylised seventies photography – so it became about the objects and interiors in those magazines and any prize possession ranging from priceless objets d’art: Coromandel screens, Faberge eggs, Qianlong dynasty china and Meissen porcelain.

Mary Katrantzou SS11

Mary Katrantzou SS11

This season the porcelain bowls become rounded skirts on pinafores, and the open halves of a Faberge egg form dramatic peplums over the hips. It’s my best collection  so far…and it’s displayed here [at IMMA] tonight!

WSW: Now there’s someone who’s mastered the art of putting the room on the woman, rather than the woman in the room!

As part of the Irish Museum of Modern Art museum’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, “Art of Fashion”, Brown Thomas curated a retrospective installation of internationally celebrated fashion designer Mary Katrantzou’s signature looks over the past four seasons. The exhibition pieces will be displayed in the windows of Brown Thomas Dublin from Monday 30th May for two weeks.

AnneMarie Boyhan & Mary Katranzou

WSW AnneMarie Boyhan meets Mary Katranzou

See some of the attendees and more of Mary Katrantzou’s designs from the event here

Related posts:

  1. Mary Katrantzou for TopShop
  2. 5 Minutes With Nina Divito
  3. Video: Brown Thomas SS11
  4. 5 Minutes with Paula Reed (Grazia)
  5. 5 Minutes With David Greene (Style Wars)
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  1. Irish Museum of Modern Art 20th anniversary | WhatSheWears.ie - May 31, 2011

    […] Read our interview with Mary Katrantzou herself over here. […]

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