[Photo: Erik Madigan Heck for Nomenus Quartlerly]

Mary Katrantzou is a London-based designer who has been making waves since her début runway collection for F/W 2009. The attention is due largely to the virtuosity of her printmaking, but it is also due to her evocative sense of silhouette and proportion, that variety of exaggerated shapes by and large restricted to the haute couturiers.

Such statement-making pieces have quickly become the darlings of both fashion editors and street-style-stars alike (Ms. Anna Dello Russo wore Katrantzou to Chanel’s F/W ’11 show, and has donned myriad other Katrantzou duds…). The editorials featuring her work (ranging from the quite obvious to the more surrealistic) often complement her maximalist tendencies rather than juxtapose them. Yes, I realize florals v. industrial spaces is hyperoverdone (in as much as it was parodied in The Devil Wears Prada), but there’s a sleekness to her silhouette that is at odds with the prints, and I don’t think that particular tension has been duly explored.

Opining aside, the pieces are, as singular expressions of an artistic spirit, beautiful beyond reason. Even better? Buying one such dress is a near-finite guarantee that you’ll never be caught wearing the same thing as some other woman, unless you keep the company of the aforementioned Ms. Anna Dello Russo. (Editor’s note: if you do, please call me, immediately. Let’s be friends. Kthx.)

In these times of watered-down designer collections pandering to the last dollar, how often can you really say that something you bought is unique and different?
This dress will do the trick quite nicely. An investment piece, for sure, but look at it this way: when you tire of wearing it, you can hang it on the wall. Art, meet Fashion. Fashion, meet Art.


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