The fascinating world of Mary Katrantzou, the illusionist
Mary Katrantzou likes to invent imaginary perspectives on unforgettable dresses. The young creator inhabited by symmetry and colors answers to all questions without trompe l'oeil.
Géraldine Maillet : Greece loves mythology, is your inspiration a divine influence as well?
Mary Katrantzou : Inspiration usually comes from an assemblage of images and art is an integral part of my design aesthetic. It's fantastical but not fictitious.
GM : Is fashion a matter of volume or fabric rather?
MK : I think that a strong print or a fabric with depth and texture can be as definitive and inspirational as a beautifully draped dress or tailored jacket. When there is a synergy of both we have Couture.
GM : What is the most beautiful architectural perspective that you know?
MK : A tunnel -vault perspective. It hides your surroundings and shelters you within, having to travel the distance to reach the other end and merge back into your environment.
GM : In your opinion, does a trompe l'oeil make believe, make beautiful or make dream?
MK : It's an illusion that tricks the eye but as a technique in art, it can become very technical. There needs to be imagination behind it. Then it becomes beautiful, and surreal.
GM : What masters inspired you? Peinters, designers or architects?MK : Pierre Cardin, Jeff Koons, Dali, Schiaparelli.
GM : A trompe l'oeil dress, a trompe l'oeil necklace, are you designing a virtual world?
MK : I'm trying to fuse art into fashion designing trompe l'oeil prints of jewellery, perfume bottles, blown glass or 18th century painting. It can be anything derived from art and design, which then becomes part of the dress. It's engineered around the female form and is an essential part of the brand identity I am trying to establish.
GM : We know the channel suit, the St Laurent suit ..What piece of the Katrantzou collection do you wish to leave for posterity?
MK : It's too early to say. But I would like for it to be bold, colorful and daring..
GM : Tell us about your creating process.
MK : I treat the dress as a canvas engineering my prints into the pattern piece. My subject matter is inspired by art or design. I want to create wearable art and turn the idea of design on its head by being subversive.
GM : An ideal nymph for your models?
MK : Jane Birkin.
GM : Do you like your creations to be admires with a magnifier or at a distance?
MK : It's good to be able to get close. I always want to be able to understand a design by really looking into it. It's a more personal way of looking into fashion.
GM : What is your definition of e! legance.
MK : Timeless style.
GM : Describe your favorite greek goddess dress.
MK : A Sophia Kokosalaki dress. It has elements of ancient Greek drapery but it is relevant to today's modern woman.
GM : Is fascination a form of illusion?
MK : It can drive you to oblivion but for me it's the way to truly understand the subject of interest! You have to be attracted.
GM : What is your favorite perfume ?
MK : Shallimar by Guerlain.
Mary, Jasmine and Kristina.
Portrait of Mary Katrantzou
Mary Katrantzou Autumn Winter 08- 09
Autumn Winter 10
Extracts show Mary Katrantzou AW 2010
Visuals AW 08-09, SS 09