Mary Katrantzou Womenswear A/W10

18th century portraiture gave way to a freer use of Katrantzou's signature prints.

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Katrantzou has worked hard to impose a sense of rigidity when it comes to her prints because she has rightly been concerned with establishing a signature that makes her stand out and instantly recognisable. Job accomplished and Katrantzou can call those graphic and literal prints truly her own. However, for this season, she freed herself a little and allowed herself to play with the addition of layers and a greater array of fabrics, inspired by Fragonard paintings that resulted in 18th century nuances such as a side ruffled bustle, a contemporary version of a tail coat and most importantly, a loss of symmetry, and this is the one occasion where imbalance is more than welcome.

Dazed Digital: What were your inspirations?
Mary Katrantzou: It was 18th century portraiture and all the men and women in there. I was looking at artists like Fragonard and Madame de Pompadour and people like that. It was a fragmentation of what they used to wear and bring them onto a 21st century woman.

DD: How have your prints evolved for this season?
Mary Katrantzou: It's very different in its fabrication as it's more layered and it's not so much one graphic bold print on a single silhouette. It had to feel a little more free in the lines and that's why we integrated the frills and the lace and everything that was going on in there. Most importantly, it wasn't a symmetrical print and it was a lot more layered; some were repeats, some were motifs. In order to make it more interesting, there was a lot of assemblage of different influences.

DD: Can you tell us a little bit about the shapes?
Mary Katrantzou: For me, it was a collection of a signature style that was very austere, concentrating on the shift dress. This season, the theme gave me more freedom to play with fabrics. It's nice to make the clothes have some fantasy.

DD: Tell us about the names you give the dresses?!
Mary Katrantzou: They're a little ridiculous but we use them in the studio! Dante, Doma, Fireding, Ciderbing, Rubberdum, Gilda, Gilda's Mother…

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