August 27 2014

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The Future, Chez Katrantzou: Prints, Tailoring, Embroidery, And A Collaborator (She Hopes)


No rest for the accomplished. Within 24 hours of winning the prestigious €100,000 Swiss Textiles Award—presented to her by last year’s winner, Alexander Wang—London-based designer Mary Katrantzou was on a plane, headed to New York to celebrate the launch of her new fragrance, a collaboration with Six Scents Parfums. The process of creating the scent, in collaboration with Shyamala Maisondieu from Givaudan, was “like going to the shrink,” she says, but at the moment, she’s just as interested in looking forward as looking back—to where her newfound winnings will take her and her line.

In her future? A new studio—”we have been in a fully subsidized studio for two years, and it was really difficult to be able to find the money to grow out of that and start establishing our own studio,” she says—as well as further development of new categories. “I think my work will always be print-based. I am hoping the award will help me be able to explore new bases and maybe be able to do the print on different types of garments—I think it makes a difference to the feeling of the collection,” she explains. “Maybe [I will] not focus so much on the dresses and work on some jackets and trousers, as well as developing the embroidery that we started.”

Katrantzou is working with Swarovski for 2011 and has a hoped-for collaborator in mind, but, she says, “I can’t tell you about it because she wouldn’t know and it would be strange if I said it.” About her new collection, she’s keeping mum, too. “You know, with my work, because it’s so thematic, if I say it I will give everything away. Like if I had said ‘room’ this season past, you can instantly visualize it,” she allows. “This one is a little bit darker, it’s printed, and it’s more of a layering of different references rather than one big, bold visual like it was this season. That’s all I can say for now.”

Photo: Carly Otness/

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