There are always many heart-thumping moments during London Fashion Week and before I suspected that it was because of will to want to love everything that comes out of London Fashion Week, my biased feelings towards designers who I've seen from day 1 at their graduate collections and just my general patriotic ties to London itself.  Now, I'm confident that those feelings are being stripped away and that I can stand a little further back to see these collections for what they truly are.  Let's stop swaddling London fashion week designers with praise because we are willing LFW to become an equal to their NY/Milan/Paris counterparts and give it where it is due.  Case in point, I can genuinely say there can't be enough shouting and hurrah-ing over Mary Katrantzou's latest A/W 11-12 collection. 

The bias is admittedly lingering but as a designer whose prints could easily have placed boundaries upon her from the get-go of her CSM MA collection, it's actually been astonishing to see it mature and develop in the way that it has done in the past two seasons and this one in particular is definitely a major gear stick shift up (similar to what Meadham Kirchhoff have done).

At first glance, taking the objects of art that inhabited the rooms that featured in the last collection and zooming into them, seems too simplistic a concept but it's the fantastic scope of opulence, richness, depth and ultimately, fantasy that makes it work and the fact that the prints never look flat or 2-D because as always, Katrantzou's print placement is spot on. 

Let's get the main event out of the way first.  Katrantzou does KNITWEAR, a prospect that had a lot of people getting very excited about loosening their purse strings.  It's not yer' average lazy jumper or cardi though as the momentary injections of lurex yarns as well as the intricacies of the prints make these pieces stand out before any of the statement dresses have even gone over them.  Might seem a little silly to get so excited over a cardi but Katrantzou's mainstay of dresses have in the past limited her offering and now her collection has that extra shade of depth, which perhaps she was missing before.  

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If you thought I was going to quibble about the Chinoserie passages that crop up in the collection, you'd be mistaken given that the context as well as application completely takes you away from the misapproprating zone and in fact I fully welcome Chinese poets under a tree watching the world go by with blooms all around them.  The William Morris-esque prints that don't seem to be shying away from this season, also make their way into Katrantzou's collection…

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…with the best use of them on this satin biker jacket paired with a contrasting shirt, again broadening the application of Katrantzou's prints to a more accessible piece than say a cocoon-skirted dress…

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Not that, cocoons aren't appreciated.  I'm still blubbing about the fact that I missed out on the S/S 11 lampshade boat…

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The precision of Katrantzou's print application can really be seen here in this bonded satin coat, an elegant rigidity that she has perfected since day 1…

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Koi carp lovers behold…

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The last few pieces strayed from the short and stiffened cocoons with the injection of chiffon skirts and dresses that flared out with the help of several crinoline skirts underneath which I suppose completed the buildup from daywear to extravagant showpieces, again, emphasising a range that Katrantzou perhaps didn't have before. 

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Let's talk about the shoes which area  collaboration with Christian Louboutin who went all out this season in making magic with Katrantzou's prints.  I also like the styling point of pulling the knitted leggings over the boots to make it more fluid…

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The digesting time of having these pics sit on my computer whilst I type this in between Milan and Paris fashion weeks is useful to see that my heart was thumping for a reason when I saw this collection.  Fluttery moments haven't been coming thick and fast (not has anything been terrible either…) this season but the ones that do have stuck around in memory.  And it's not just because I Heart London. 

Comments (42)

  1. fancypants says:

    Impressive collection. A little reminiscent of Balenciaga SS08 together with a touch of Mcqueen all wrapped up in a bit of regular Katranzou madness!
    I do not have the ability to wear any of it without looking a little cuckoo but you’d carry it off with aplomb, Susie. I do hope you get that yellow and cream floral print jacket!!!

  2. Fantastic behind the scenes look at the collection. The knitwear is outstanding and I am sure will be a great success.
    DMW.

  3. Shini says:

    possibly my favourite show and designer ever.
    Didn’t see the knitwear at her newgen stand… le love.
    x

  4. BusiChic says:

    excuse my while i stoop to pick up my jaw – mind-blowingly WOW. the skirt in full bloom says it for me really – Katrantzou is in bloom and I wish we could get her work in Australia but then I should make space to support our own home-grown talent too! nice work Susie!

  5. Mohammedi says:

    Snygga klädder<3

  6. amalie says:

    this is stunning! love the vintage-y asian prints.
    xx

  7. annie says:

    She has a fantastic collection, really! Very English and classic, but modern because of that too!

  8. Deedeeoho says:

    Wow! What an amazing collections! I love the textiles, and her eye for pattern mixing is fantastic! It always makes me happy to see a designer who really has a strong background in art history as well.
    I wish I could wear outfits like this on a daily basis – they look so lush!
    htpp://deedeeoho.blogspot.com

  9. ~~Mary says:

    When I saw the collection , the inspirations..and then the backstage photos I was speechless. She is a revelation, I really loved everything about it and it’s amazing that you chose to write this lovely post!
    http://teenfashiondiary.blogspot.com/
    ~~Mary

  10. Absolutely divine!!!

  11. Q. says:

    love the cuts and prints. wonderful.
    http://the-q-project.blogspot.com/

  12. Lina Hidling says:

    fin blogg, nice blog

  13. Sara says:

    Beautiful clothes, I love the shoes from Christian Louboutin! Very difficult to wear though. Nice blog by the way πŸ™‚

  14. meili says:

    aaaa those pattern are amazing !! and with the shape of the shapes woooaaahh

  15. Ingrid says:

    really cool clothes! i love those with cherry blossoms and koifish!

  16. X Alex says:

    Some of the dresses and the shoes really show off Mary Katrantzou’s signature style but I was pleasantly surprised by the knits. I agree that it does give depth to the collection and it’s fabulous how she has evolved through the seasons!

  17. Duck says:

    I wasn’t bowled over by Mary’s earlier collections, I always preferred other print designers like Basso & Brooke, but these pieces are unreal! The detailed texture is incredible, and I love how the knitwear looks more like Bayeux tapestry… Next up – menswear! *crosses fingers*
    xx
    Duck

  18. ediot says:

    such a wonderful post susie. love the patterns that reminds me of grandma curtains- and all the others as well. so inspiring
    xx

  19. shabby says:

    Fabulous collection! The knitwear is spectacular. I’m already a Katrantzou fan, but this only adds to it.

  20. Shelley says:

    OMG, those are beautiful. I would want to hang them on my wall when I wasn’t wearing them…

  21. edoardo says:

    Wonderful coollection, one of my favourites. This deisgner has a great talent and I’m sure that she will have a wonderful carreer and an enormous succes. The geometries and the tridimensionale appearance is cool!
    http://fashiondoesntexist.blogspot.com/

  22. The student says:

    What a beautiful collection! I am a devoted minimalist but the patterns and the colours are amazing.

  23. Floz says:

    Mary Karantzou is clearly quite the genius. I adore the bejewelled skirt with the flowers on. Definitely not your average lazy knitwear – I’d wear something like that to visit the queen or something.

  24. faye says:

    Those prints are mind blowingly amazing. She certainly delivered and her attention to detail is astounding. One of my fave collections for AW so far πŸ™‚
    http://clothesaremyreligion.typepad.com

  25. I have always loved Mary Katrantzou’s designs but this is by far her best so far. Amazing, I love it!

  26. Claire says:

    Oh my. There’s not a piece that doesn’t make me want to shut myself up in a tower and pine.

  27. Patricia says:

    You have an awesome blog! keep going πŸ˜‰

  28. YAY Susie I finally got to read a post of yours fully! Mary’s collection this season was clearly one of the stand outs. I’m so glad you got to see the stuff up close backstage because I have been mistaking the prints as something from greco-roman mosaics! Shock and horror in deed! Especially considering the amount of these ceramics lying around my home in London! I’m emailing your post to my mother right now who I’m sure is going to love it! YAY for Mary and Susie’s photos/writing!
    PS: glad you took the training wheels off LFW πŸ˜›

  29. SACRAMENTO says:

    Mary is that cherry in any pie: the textures, the colours, the shoes… Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Something new and fresh, and unique…
    Thanks for shaing so much beauty Susie.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  30. the patterns and the intricacy of all the detailing makes me awestuck. Love the shoes.

  31. Brigadeiro says:

    I absolutely LOVED Mary Katrantzou’s latest collection, and that yellow satin jacket above is just 2D4!!!
    xx

  32. Shilpi says:

    This is sooo Katrantzou, she is an amazing textile designer!
    xx

  33. shoe shop says:

    lovely collection thanks for sharing it

  34. lyrebirdgully says:

    Could anyone ever get tired of these beautiful patterns?- the knitwear alone will generate decades of appreciation. A great post, Susie.

  35. Ryan Reid says:

    What luscious colors and patterns. Reminds me of Provence!
    http://gothamgirls.blogspot.com/

  36. ting says:

    it’s amazing this Mary collection!

  37. I so appreciate the geometric notions, the play with the waist line, and the pervading chinoiserie of it all. I was certain you’d like it the very moment I saw the first picture of the collection.
    http://whichisgood.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/what-beauty-is-not/

  38. Better than I’ve seen from Mary in a long time!

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