Review by Emma Scott
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
It doesn’t take a genius to see that for this collection Katrantzou was clearly inspired by shoes, it’s as clear as day and takes the form of zoomed in prints of classic brogues and trainers. Adorning simple shift dresses and plunging V neck jackets, the print amplifies and showcases the beautiful small details within the shoes that we would normally not notice, such as the intricate cutwork pattern into the leather on a brogue, or the serrated edges that decorate the joins within the shoe. I love the rich colour palette used for this collection, the deep burgundy, purple and emerald green shades are not those usually seen for a Spring/Summer collection, but really bring through the classic look and feel of traditional men’s brogues. The collection is an example of modern digital printing at its best, and although a very simple design it is nice to see traditional fashion trends such as brogues, being incorporated into modern fashion today.
The cut of the garments themselves is kept clean and basic, dresses are left to drape over the body instead of clinging to every crevice and aside from some pleating on a skater skirt, contouring is kept to a minimum to give the print a nice flat surface. The use of a matt fabric also allows the colours within the prints to really have some depth making them richer and brighter, as they are not interrupted by a sheen within the fabric.
On the other end of the scale however, we see where Katrantzou was influenced by modern sports trainers, a handful of her garments feature slick bands of neon yellow and fuchsia pink similar to that you would see on a pair of new Nike or Adidas shoes. In comparison to the brogues these prints feature modern components such as brightly coloured laces, small inconspicuous stitching and geometric patterns that are often seen on fashionable trainers today. These pops of bold block colour is refreshing against the usual pale pastel shades normally seen in Spring/Summer collections and I love the noticeable difference between traditional and modern shoes. It has an almost pop art appearance to it, and many of the dresses would not look out of place in a nightclub or for a party. Print has become a popular trend for many designers in recent collections, yet instead of creating a simple geometric pattern or reproducing a classic design, Katrantzou has used scale to produce something that is fashion forward and unique.
There is of course elements to this collection that are typical of a spring collection, she was also inspired by eighteenth century slippers when designing her garments, and has produced a stunning array of dresses that are heavily printed and embroidered. Volume is key for these dresses and she has used large inverted pleats and ruffles over tulip and bell shaped skirts to create a voluminous silhouette. The small intricate embroidery and print is a huge contrast to her previous shoe printed garments, and I love how diverse this makes the collection. The slippers would have been something only royalty or the wealthiest of people would have worn due to their complexity and beauty, and I feel Katrantzou has really portrayed this through her dresses, the complex floral designs are incredible to look at and a paired with a colour palette of soft pastels against deep jade and bright yellow draw the eye in to look closer. The satin ruffles on some of the dresses then add to the luxury that the garments ooze.
What is special about this collection is that it brings two areas of fashion together and celebrates their design and craftsmanship. When looking at traditional fashion it’s easy to just bypass shoes and simply concentrate on the garments themselves, instead what Katrantzou has done is show to us how incredibly detailed and complex traditional footwear was, along with offering a comparison to our modern shoe choices. She has done this in a simple way that means the finished look is sleek and fashion forward and the stylisation of the print is unique and edgy.