Despite celebrating a decade of success, Mary Katrantzou is not slowing down. If anything, she’s doing exactly the opposite. At the beginning of October, the designer had a homecoming of epic proportions, staging her spring/summer 2020 show at the breath taking Temple of Poseidon, located just outside her hometown of Athens. While she had to turn around the collection in just eight weeks after securing permission to use the location from the Greek government, Katrantzou’s latest offering was epic – in truly Greek fashion. Filled with gargantuan gowns whose beauty was only surpassed by the ancient monument illuminated in the background, you’d think such a feat would require subsequent downtime. Instead, Katrantzou has just launched an exclusive new collection for The Outnet.
After launching her eponymous label in 2008, Katrantzou was famed for her trompe l’oeil prints and architectural designs – for this latest collection, she has created 14 different pieces, all in a re-worked version of a signature print. ‘We’ve worked with the Outnet team for a few years and we both wanted to collaborate on a capsule that focuses on the process of recycling, through the use of archival prints and fabrics,’ Katrantzou told me. ‘It’s something that we do internally every season (up-cycling old fabrics as toiling materials) but we wanted to design a complete capsule out of our unused archival prints and fabrics to encourage responsible fashion.’
The clothes themselves range from bold pussybow blouses, splashed with contrast colours and prints, to a striking long, tiered dress finished with a scarlet ribbon at the waist. Colour is key- it’s something Katrantzou refers to as a ‘wellness tool’, and she’s certainly not afraid of it. ‘I always try in my work to embrace positivity,’ she says.
Katrantzou has proved that, as per the SS20 collection, she can touch on couture with intricate, meticulous designs but so too does she produce wearable clothes that adhere to the demands of everyday life. ‘In these 10 years, the importance of narrative and the power of the word 'idea', have become fundamental in my work. Innovation, craftsmanship and imagination are all at the core of the brand's DNA, along with empowering women to be fearless and to embrace their individuality.’
Indeed, the Katrantzou woman is no wallflower and while the Outnet collection features cleaner silhouettes and unfussy shapes, it stays true to her distinctive aesthetic. ‘I used to fear that I will run out of ideas,’ she tells me. However, I have realised that inspiration is everywhere. It's not always what you see that inspires you but your ability to use your imagination to turn that reference on its head and create something unique.’
While we wait to see how she follows her much-lauded (and visually spectacular) SS20 show, we can at least content ourselves at The Outnet, where Katrantzou herself sometimes shops. Her guiltiest late-night purchase? ‘A pair of Ancient Greek sandals,’ she says. Of course.