MARY KATRANTZOU went back to her roots for her spring/summer 2017 presentation held at Soho's Brewer Street car park, the BFC's show space, this season. Delving into both her own design archive and Greek history for inspiration, she combined a kaleidoscopic sweep of the past with innovative fabrics, highly decorative details and Sixties pop-art influences. Ardent Katrantzou fans will love the return of her signature Trompe L'oeil prints, hourglass silhouettes, clashing vibrant colours and peplums (which peeped from beneath boxy jackets and added flounce to evening gowns) and long, tapered skirts.
Beautifully embroidered cocktail dresses were amongst the best pieces in this collection, as well as clattering chainmail shifts (the noise sure to garner the wearer immediate attention), all worn over figure-sculpting, long-sleeved psychedelic bodies. Hellenic motifs were imaginatively referenced in Mycenaean pottery patterns that ran down pleated evening skirts and the silhouettes of Minoan women embroidered on jackets and bodices.
It's not a collection for everyone, but it is for women who want to dazzle and stand out, who don't mind making a loud statement and who think that minimalist masculinity is boring. And as Greece continues to struggle under its financial constraints, Katrantzou's ode to her homeland was a timely reminder of how much this ancient European peplums civilisation is at the heart of modern culture, the show notes reiterating proudly that it was Minoan women who made the earliest fashion statements too.
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