LiveStudio: Mary Katrantzou

published on 6 December 2010

Designer Mary Katrantzou demonstrated her creative process (and flower arranging skills) live in our studio.

Designer Mary Katrantzou demonstrated her creative process (and flower arranging skills) live in our studio.

Q&A Posts

7 DEC 2010. 12:32

Q. What's your inspiration for your designs and what models and photographers are your favs?
A. Inspiration first! Usually something that comes from art and design in general, it's been quite thematic in general. It's been perfume bottles, eighteenth century portraiture, interiors. But it's always been subverted in some way - the perfume bottle shaping a woman's body; interiors taken from fashion photography but putting it on the woman rather than around her. There's something about it that's design-lead, very visual. It's not nature directly, it's filtered through design. 

As for models and photographers... I can start with the obvious, Nick Knight! But it's true. There's a broad range of photographers I like - some more digitised and contained and restrained, and some more natural. Nick Knight, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton... all the iconic ones. On the last collection, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton. All the icons! But they were the starting point of the collection, they're not photographers who always inspire but they did last season. As for models... current models, Freja and Raquel are both great, they both have a really strong look. Coco as well. And from the past, I think you have a shoot in mind. I remember Penelope Tree in her iconic photographs, and the Supermodels.

7 DEC 2010. 12:27

Q. you're awesome, mary. who's your favourite designer. -spencer.
A. Can we do top five? In no particular order: Miuccia Prada; Balenciaga past and present; Chanel; Schiaparelli; Pierre Cardin. And Versace, five and half! And Alaia. I can't drop anyone, but he has to be there.

7 DEC 2010. 12:02

Q. What advice would you give to any young designer hoping to make a name for themselves? Or what was the best advice you ever received.
A. The best advice I ever received was actually the most basic: to take it really seriously, and be focused and determined in what you want to do. It sounds very generic, but it really comes down to that, to help you carve out a signature. The important thing for me was to find out what I am strong at, and take that further and further. When I wanted to apply for New Gen at the beginning, I tried to get in contact with Sarah Mower and said what I wanted to do, and she said 'You have to be serious, you have to know what you want to do.' And that's what it's really about. You have to take it seriously, know what you're about, and stay focused. And you have to love what you're doing, because you're doing it 24 hours a day - sometimes even more - so you have to really like it.

7 DEC 2010. 11:51

Q. What was the motivation to do a SHOWstudio project for you? Sebsastian, NETHERLANDS
A. It's not the first one! For me it's that you're given a platform to do something creative outside of what I can do for my own collection. It allows you to be really creative, and have a platform for a new idea and try something new and develop it. You can also push the limits of what people think of as your work, and push it, experiment with different disciplines. I respect all the different people who have worked on different projects here, and it's inspirational for me. It's nice to be a part of it.

5 DEC 2010. 16:46

Q. Would you recommend the csm MA course? or do you think industry experience is more important?
A. I think education is really important, especially the Central Saint Martins MA. It's a cross between education, and a real feeling for how the industry works. The people running the course - Louise Wilson first and foremost but also people like Fleet Bigwood, my print tutor - do a great job in helping you find your own strength and keeping you relevant to the industry, and keeping you questioning yourself. I think absolutely the MA helped take me from someone who didn't have the technical ability but had creativity to someone who knows what I am about. It's great that it doesn't hold you by the hand, it's more of a detached guidance. It's almost like fashion boot-camp with Louise! It builds your strength, it makes you a designer.

Concept and Design:
Creative Development:
Lindsey Weir
Marie Schuller
Rob Hall
Flowers kindly supplied by:
Absolute Flowers
Special thanks to:
Ian Simpson at Location Audio for sound supervision



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