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Mary Katrantzou Fall 2009 Collection

“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future”
Coco Chanel

We absolutely adored this collection the second we laid eyes on it. It's designer Mary Katrantzou's first runway collection for London Fashion Week. Known for her use of prints, Katrantzou described her influences as "the refractive quality of my mother's glass perfume bottles" and you should have no problem seeing that in the trompe l’oeil effect of these clothes. Some might say she got too literal in her interpretation but these are dresses the likes of which we've never seen before and that's enough to win us over. They're not just unique; they're uniquely beautiful. She also designs jewelry and you can see the pieces in this collection. Her jewelry is large, geometric and clunky and the effect with these dresses is you can't tell where the jewelry ends and the dress begins.

[Photos: firstVIEW]

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Especially the last one. *drool*

As La Mal would say, very interesting!

What do the backs look like?


*curses for being poor*

Life is just not fair. :0(

Absolutely gorgeous. I WANT THAT LAST BLUE DRESS!

Some look great but others remind me of those t-shirts that look like a suit or a bikini. I don't know.

I agree that these look like dresses made from novelty silkscreened t-shirts. There's pattern and then there's Orlando Tourist Trap Chic. OUT.

I like most of them, but some of them seem to scream "I HAVE OVARIES" - second and third from the bottom on the right hand side. Tell me I'm not the only one who sees it?

Erin C -- I saw the "I have ovaries!!" dresses immediately, too.

Some of these I adore, others are just too literal. I think the overall effect is too much for me, and if these were to be worn off the runway, it would take a very special kind of woman to make them look good.

I'm on the fence, but I'm leaning toward overall not liking the collection. The jewelry, however, is fab.

Laughter all around at the "bikini-T" comment, I couldn't put my finger on it, but that's exactly it.
I too would love to know what the backs of some of these look like. I didn't like all of them though. I didn't quite care for outfits #4, 6, and 8, but L-O-V-E-D the rest. Favs being #5 and the last.

Is there a planet of origin for this collection?

reminds me of Linda Evangelista in that George Michael video

I think these are a bit too literal for my taste, but wouldn't Tilda Swinton look great in most of these?

It can only be a matter of time before the skeleton prints make a comeback!

These do remind me of X Rays and MRI's.

Gorgeous? The look like costumes for the next edition of the Power Rangers or Transformers.

I am sorry, but I am not responding well to these looks.


I think some of them are beautiful - especially the most literal, but don't think I'd appreciate the beauty on someone going about daily activities, rather than intentionally showing off the dress. Beautiful as graphics & color, as clothes, they leave me cold. They don't feel fun or glamorous or powerful, to me.

And I hate the low-budget movie 60's sexy female alien styling, especially the hair. No, wait, especially the eye makeup. Or is it the hair?

Anonymous said...

*curses for being poor*

I second that emotion!

I want to see SWINTON in one of these!

Gorge!!! If I could, I would totally own that last blue dress! Numbers 1, 2, 4, 7, 12, 14, 16 are the best in my opinion! Hope to see more of Mary Katrantzou in the future!

I'm sorry, but the placement of the bottles is, for the most part, not flattering.

These are STUNNING.

all I can think of is Transformers for most of these dresses/outfits

4/9/09 2:05 PM

Some look great but others remind me of those t-shirts that look like a suit or a bikini. I don't know.

I can definitely see that. I think, if I hadn't read the inspiration beforehand then I wouldn't have noticed it as much, if at all.

In general they are really graphic, very art-deco and I really like.

Wouldn't it have been more unique AND beautiful if she had constructed fabric to achieve the refracted light quality of colored glass, rather than simply designing geometric prints? I can easily see how the light-through-colored-glass quality can have been achieved with pleating, seaming, and other structural techniques. Patterned prints seems far less innovative and striking to me in achieving this effect.

I agree with the poster who said some of these patterns were reminiscent of those novelty t-shirts with the tuxedo pattern on them--which, of course, is tres tacky.

While some are very interesting or pretty, for the most part, at least to me, they look like they should be extras in a TRON sequel.

As someone we all know and love would say, "That's a lotta look."

Am I getting old or what? These do absolutely nothing for me, though I do see SOME kind of "art" in the designs. What KIND of art, I don't know, though.
My cranky self says, "I hate them all". But my happy self says, "They ARE fun to look at".

I agree with all the "bikini t-shirt" comments here. That was my first thought as well (although in my head it was 'fake tuxedo' t-shirts). Some of them do still manage to be very beautiful though, at least in the pictures. I would be curious as to how high the quality is of those printed fabrics, especially up close. Anything less digital, crystal clarity would probably look really, really tacky.

The jewelery, however, is amazing.

Sharon T, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of Tron - especially the blue skirt.

To me , while it is literal, it also gives me a feeling of a modern or Space age African. I LOVE it!!!!

Concept aside, the bustier (if that's what it is) over the gray blouse is whack. At the least the blouse should have been tight fitting.

Much too literal for my tastes, I agree with anonymous who said that the concept done with fabrics could have been much more beautiful than the graphic designs. There is something really tacky about these clothes to me, but I do agree the jewelry is beautiful.

Breathtaking. I haven't seen clothing this immediately inspiring since Balenciaga did the floral gladiator look a couple season ago.

SWINTON must wear one of these. NOW.

too many cats

But not much more.

Tuxedo T shirt memories, but with a better quality silkscreen.

Are the backs blank (homage to crazy dude from CA on PR) or do they match at all?

Whatever happened to "Don't let the print do all the work?"

Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the collection. But I agree with whoever said it would have been better to achieve the effect through fabric construction.

I do like these dresses. However, they do all looks like they would look perfect if animated right into:

lol I can totally see it! Now I have the song stuck in my head though :(

hoooly crap.
that grey smokey chiffon bottom on the second to last dress... its just amazing.

another laura

I like the ones that are less literal. Those above who indicate that they remind them of bikini or tux t-shirts have it right on most of the dresses. Those in which I don't recognize an actual perfume bottle are attractive.

I love the styling on this collection.

I was thinking if Ziggy Stardust was a woman, she'd wear these, but reading the comments I realize that if Ziggy Stardust was a woman she'd be Tilda Swinton, so I was right all along!

Ziggy Tilda would have better hair and shoes though.



This collection is gorgeous! Not only are the prints unique, but I adore the flattering silhouettes. Styling and jewelry are lovely as well.

who can actually wear this though?
I admit though, it was AWESOME. Love Jourdan.

Cute! I think *one* of these dresses would be a fun addition to anyones wardrobe. I especially like the ones that wonk with the porportions of the wearer.
The they are literal, yes. I remember my mother had this little glass jar of cream sachet that was yellow with a swirly plastic lid with a gold gem stone stuck in it. I loved that jar. I think it was Avon, (how pedestrian).

Another Suburban Mom
4/9/09 2:42 PM

Gorgeous? The look like costumes for the next edition of the Power Rangers or Transformers.

I agree.
And I also felt reminded of the bikini-t-shirts.

I don't like this collection much.

Thank you for posting these, TLo! I appreciate learning about new designers. The first look was the best to me. Otherwise, I found them to be Rorschach tests in color.

Wow, so many fabulous posts, guys.
STUNNING collection. I love it!!!

Definitely a concept carried through a collection, for which I commend the designer. But I agree with those who suggest it would be better to do more with material/construction and less with print.

There is nothing hear I would actually want to wear, even if I wasn't a plus-size girl. However, the total effect on the runway really is stunning. It's a bit costume-y and I'm curious as to how it would translate to real life, though.

too literal for me. but not boring.

More interesting than pretty, If this was on PR they would say could use some editing/restraint. I also think it is too literal # 12 looks exactly like a Tressor bottle.

She's so young, but I'll bet she's going to have a really strong career. You're right, TLo - there is something special going on here. A clear point of view and a very positive vibe.

Very London.

(I also enjoyed seeing pix on her site of her graduate collection and last season.)

Oh Gawd, it's truly awful. Reminds me a walking through the black light room at Spencer gifts or black velvet paintings on the side of the road -- ack!

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