Mary Katrantzou, London, UK
The printed image is central to Mary Katrantzou’s aesthetic. She singlehandedly raised the profile of hyper-real and digital print with her first collection in 2009.
For Katrantzou, each print is designed around the garment and the garment simultaneously around the print. When creating Resort 2016, she was fascinated by the way Optical artists of the 1960s used stripes and depth of colour to trick the eye. Pleats were the perfect way to extend this deception.
On this cotton poplin day dress, Katrantzou takes this deception one step further. Using stripes and the clever placement of colour and enlarged floral prints, her design creates the optical illusion of pleating.
The hyper-real colour scheme was inspired by French seed packets from the 1890s, which she masterfully combined with Op art to create this floral spring collection.
Who wore it
Alexa Chung wears a Katrantzou dress at the 2nd Annual Capsule Collection for Vogue Eyewear launch in New York
Print has enabled Katrantzou to create a distinctive visual language. Her 2008 graduate show mapped out her design direction, with trompe l'oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey dresses. From the beginning, Katrantzou’s work has explored and challenged perception and perspective. She marked herself out early on as the spearhead of a new generation of designers embracing print in a new way.
Inevitably, print became a catwalk and high-street phenomenon and its aesthetic thrill was diluted. Katrantzou's challenge was to take it in a new direction, moving beyond digital print. Her Resort collections have provided the perfect canvas on which to experiment with surface design, streamlining and defining her design DNA.
Object photography © Mary Katrantzou/National Museums Scotland
Vogue photography © Jemal Countess/Getty Images