I recently walked past Matches in Richmond and saw a dress in the shop window that caught my attention for being strikingly original and uniquely beautiful. It especially made an impression as the print on the dress was that of an interior. After a little browse on the Matches website, I found that the dress was a creation by designer Mary Katrantzou, and after a little more research, I discovered that this young designer was somewhat of a hit during London Fashion Week having been labelled the new ‘Princess of Prints’.
The dress I saw is one of many from her new collection displaying images of room interiors literally replicated from the pages of Architectural Digest and The World of Interiors Magazines. After her first stand–alone show last September Katrantzou said “with this collection, I wanted to put the room on the woman, rather than the woman in the room”.
The collection got me thinking that actually, the clothes we wear seem somehow entwined with how we also dress our homes. Our tastes wittily mix the elements of interiors, such as colour and texture, with our own feel for fashion. I even found myself preferring Katrantzou’s dress designs that most suited the interior I would wish for my own home.
Katranzou studied at Rhode Island School of Design before transferring to Central Saint Martins to complete a BA in Textile Design. She then went on to graduate from Central Saint Martins with a distinction in MA Fashion. Her mother is also an interior designer, so it’s clear to see where her influence for this collection came from.
This particular collection is, of course, my favourite for obvious reasons. So gimmicky, it’s quaint. She has chandeliers for necklaces, pelmets as shoulder pieces and lampshade passementerie fringing at the hem of the skirts. The garments are literally windows into a room and I love them not only for their hyper-vivid prints, but because they also satisfy my nosy curiosity for looking into other people’s homes! Katrantzou’s interior dress collections seem to be the answer for the modern day ‘through the keyhole’. I would both quite happily wear one of her dresses as well as hang it on the wall, as Tim Blanks from Style.com states: “one day, it will belong there too, on the wall of a museum, in an exhibition dedicated to the absorbing aesthetic excess of our era, “I want to push print to the limit” said Katrantzou, at the same time as she encouraged us to think there mightn’t be one.”