Staged at Central Saint Martins on Sunday evening, Mary Katrantzou’s AW18 show brought together the apparently disparate references of Bauhaus and Victoriana, in a collection that once again celebrated the designer’s ‘opposites attract’ aesthetic and extraordinary craftsmanship.
Drawing inspiration from objects, interiors and art, as well as fashion, Katrantzou explored Modernism from its earliest beginnings, taking the familiar traits of the times and translating, and transposing, them into designs for today. So while the ostentation and ornamentation of the Victorian era were behind the drape and swag of sequin dresses, and the sharp, reductionist lines of Bauhaus informed the sharply-tailored trouser suits, many of the said dresses were also adorned with bold art school lettering, and the trouser suits cut from wallpaper-inspired damasks.
The influence of arts and crafts was found in intricate embroidery and tapestry-inspired pieces, perhaps most successfully worked into the designer’s trademark statement shapes.
And a clutch of mid-length shimmering dresses that closed the show combined swagged curtain-drapery with bold Bauhaus lines.
AW18 was an eclectic, expertly crafted collection with an old-world air, seen through Mary Katrantzou's now signature futuristic tromp l'oeil lens. And perhaps sartorial proof that the whole finds beauty in the attraction of opposites.
What is also refreshing, especially now in a world where everyone is, and we'd argue, unnecessarily, trying to define femininity in a post #MeToo world, Katrantzou sticks to her formula and more imaginative, dream-inducing design references.