71 posts tagged "Mary Katrantzou"
This morning, NEWGEN, the British Fashion Council’s Topshop-sponsored emerging talent scheme, announced the seven new talents who will receive sponsorship to present their Fall ’14 collections during London fashion week in February. Fledgling designers and brands including 1205, Marques’Almeida, Lucas Nascimento and Simone Rocha (left) will receive support for their runway shows while designer Ryan Lo, a Fashion East alum, will receive funding for a presentation. Meanwhile, Claire Barrow (another Fashion East grad) and Danielle Romeril will house their new collections in an exhibition space. The NEWGEN committee, chaired by journalist Sarah Mower, MBE, selects designers based on their creative strengths and distinct points of view. Past awardees have included Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, and J.W. Anderson.
Following Emma Hill’s departure from the house earlier this year, Mulberry has announced that it will not be sending its Fall ’14 collection down the catwalk during London Fashion Week in February. The British brand told WWD that it has “not finalized its creative director search,” and that it will still participate in LFW, on a smaller scale. Word on the street is that Mary Katrantzou, Roland Mouret, Erdem Moralioglu, and Sophie Hulme—whose handbags have generated quite a buzz among editors and consumers alike—are all potentially up for the gig.
Since its inception in 1993, the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN has supported the best and brightest of London’s young designers, fostering their transitions from fledgling talents to global stars. Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Thomas Tait, and Simone Rocha are just some of its many success stories. Strangely, though, a designer has never sat on its prestigious judges panel, until today. The initiative announced that former NEWGEN-er Mary Katrantzou will join industry movers and shakers such as Sarah Mower, Kate Phelan, Yasmin Sewell, Ruth Chapman and more on the platform’s selection committee. Katrantzou, who launches her e-commerce site today, will step into her duties straight away and help choose the womenswear designers who will win sponsorship for the Fall ’14 season.
Forget your average everyday ruffles. The flounces that count for Spring are exaggerated and bold. Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier sculpted mille-feuille shapes on day dresses from a cotton woven with copper so that the fabric held its exuberant form. Dries Van Noten covered several of his finale numbers with clusters of voluminous, unfurling rosettes. Isabel Marant showed a one-shoulder frock featuring endless tiers of rippling tulle, and Mary Katrantzou whipped up printed baby-dolls decorated with both real and (for good measure) trompe l’oeil frills.
One only need look at the near-obsessive attention to detail that goes into each of Mary Katrantzou’s hyper-realistic prints to know that she’s a bit of a perfectionist. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the designer held out on launching her Web site until it was just the way she wanted it. Granted, that process took about five years, but the wait, it would seem, was worth it. “We started building it so many times,” said Katrantzou. “But I was so ambitious with what I wanted on the Web site, and I wanted to make sure the environment felt really perfect. Sometimes, being a perfectionist can be your worst enemy, in terms of getting things done, but I’m really proud of what we’ve created,” explained the designer, adding that she wants her online customers “to feel like they’re getting the same service they’d expect if they were in a brick-and-mortar shop.”
The online flagship, which will launch on November 20, boasts Katrantzou’s first foray into e-commerce. Her debut 2014 Resort range will be available to the UK and EU immediately. Stateside customers can shop the site starting next year. Furthermore, the site will include social media elements, and a wealth of information about the designer’s considered prints. “Some of the pieces have a little paragraph about how they were made, as well as sketches of the design,” said Katrantzou. “I think what draws women to the collection is the fact that each dress tells a story. There’s a visual language, and we thought it would be fun to give our side of the inspiration for every dress.”
Katrantzou also tells her dresses’ tales via a series of artful shorts by director Ferdinando Verderi. One such film, dubbed Questions, premieres here. Featuring a model answering a series of queries about her English-rose-and-Sao-Paulo-apartment-printed frock, the short showcases one look from a forty-five-piece capsule Resort collection, which will be available exclusively on the site. Another punchy dress from the limited line debuts above. “I think it’s important to offer our [online customers] something special,” said Katrantzou, noting that she’ll continue to sell online-only pieces for subsequent seasons.
While the site won’t go live until next week, it’s worth visiting marykatrantzou.com in the interim. Verderi and Katrantzou came up with a clever way to count down the launch—a clock whose hands are actually high-heel-clad gams that stomp as the days, hours, minutes, and seconds pass. The timer is just another testament to Katrantzou’s dedication to detail. And if the “Coming Soon” page is a glimpse at what we’re in for, the final site is going to be just as dreamy as Katrantzou’s designs.