For Fall 2014, Mary Katrantzou expressed that she wanted to try something a little different, or at least different than the dizzying-but-beautiful digital prints she’s dazzled us with season after season. And while we did get morsels of Katrantzou’s famed graphic aesthetic, this season, she delivers a collection unlike anything she’s done.
Katrantzou got inspired by patches, symbols, and signs–the kind you might find on a bathroom door or on a boy scout’s uniform. She took these small embroidered appliqués and built panels on flowing dresses, or crafted pieces made entirely of the stuff, most notably minidresses and sweatshirts which were layered over sheer material, revealing flashes of skin. What could have looked like a crafty straight-to-Etsy DIY project (don’t act like you never tried to cover an entire shirt in iron-on patches back in high school), instead emerged as a study in refined funk. What the collection lacked in print, it made up for in ornate embroidery, beading, and embellishment.
Silhouettes were pretty sporty: there were lots of slip dresses and skirts, adorned with swaths of pleated fabric, adding that feminine touch.
Metallic tones took center stage on suiting separates rendered in jacquard material, and on mixed-media dresses made with chain mail, silk, and kitschy jewelry-box affects .
This is certainly a strong offering from Katrantzou, and it’s safe to say that her journey outside her comfort zone has been a successful one. However, I couldn’t help but have images of Raf Simons’ Dior collections dancing in my head while looking at some of the asymmetric pleated pieces. Of course, Katrantzou puts her own spin on the style, but it was hard not to make the comparison. However, I’m sure this collection will be a hit for starlets like Solange Knowles and Lupita Nyong’o.