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London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Mary Katrantzou

One of the hottest tickets during London Fashion Week S/S 2012 is Mary Katrantzou, creating colourful collections like no other designer. I was there, bobbing up and down behind a standing block of hundreds desperately trying to take photographs, at the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo on Tuesday 20 September. And I'm so glad I was.

Written by Matt Bramford

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

I don’t usually do much during fashion week on Mondays and Tuesdays. That’s because I have a day job. But when Amelia offered me tickets to Michael Van Der Ham during Monday lunchtime and Mary Katrantzou on Tuesday morning, no rx I couldn’t resist. It would be a push – a swift Boris from Southwark with moments to spare, see but I thought hell, side effects I’ll give it a go.

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2012 by Lesley Barnes

By the time I arrived at Waterloo on Tuesday morning, a queue of standing ticket owners had already formed. Christ, these queues don’t half drag you down. I stood puffing on a cigarette as photographers run down the line to take pictures, interns offer The Daily and other free stuff while a whole host of people in enormous heels leg it inside. ‘Why am I bothering?!’ I thought to myself. Well, it only took the first look to appear at the start of Katrantzou‘s show to make me realise.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I didn’t have a hope in hell of getting my hand on a press release, lest a seat or one of Mary’s covetable, seasonal goodie bags, this time in black with a gorgeous fuchsia print (from what I could see). So I looked around the cavernous old Eurostar station for clues as to what Katrantzou might deliver this season. I didn’t have to look far. The entire runway had been transformed with a vast bank of erect carnations, framed from the back by a huge metal structure; a stark juxtaposition of natural and industrial which was to prevail as Katrantzou‘s inspiration for this stunning collection.

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2012 by Karolina Burdon

I took a spot next to the photographer’s pit, manoeuvring behind anybody that looked remotely short – some mean feat at fashion week. The show started pretty soon after I finally entered the venue, which was literal music to my ears. It’s so easy to see why Mary Katrantzou has built up such an enormous following. What a breathtaking collection! I vaguely remember a quote in an interview that Katrantzou gave saying that she was worried if she pushed it any further, nobody would wear her clothes. Well there was no shortage of fans here today.

I’m so pleased I caught this show, despite my horrendous view: Katrantzou’s fascination with artificial against organic had been magically infused into this bright and bold collection. Digital prints featuring abstract elements of tin cans, microphones and car parts were the mainstay on mid-length dresses with translucent trains floating from the back. Saturated colours of all kinds – burnt organ, plum, greens, yellows, hot pink and cyan were aplenty, as if they had been painted onto the garments as the models wore them. You would be forgiven for thinking that it was all a bit of a mismatch, but discreet changes in cut and colour and the dramatic setting brought the collection together wonderfully.

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Mary‘s inimitable cocktail dresses this time seemed a little softer; dresses that began from one shoulder nipped in at the waist before blossoming out again to create an ideal silhouette. Katrantzou also showed sharp tailoring with blazers and trousers that were married together with the same vivid colours and abstract prints. But it will be the dynamic cutting of dresses and the breathtaking finale – a bias cut creation made entirely from brightly colour metals – that we’ll remember this collection for.

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2012 by Lesley Barnes

At the risk of sounding like an absolute berk, it was a real fashion moment. And I never say that. I left reeling. I’m sure the BFC are bending over backwards to keep Mary on our London Fashion Week schedule, but I fear it won’t be long before, like our other exceptional talent, she flies the nest to meet the demands of the global fashion market. For now, though, I feel privileged to have witnessed such an phenomenal display of world class fashion.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See the show here:


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  1. [...] All photographs by Matt Bramford for Amelia’s Magazine. [...]

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