Mary Katrantzou's show which took place earlier this morning had the style set in raptures. Watching her truly beautiful and innovative collection make its way down the catwalk, it was hard to believe that this was only Mary's second stand-alone show at London Fashion Week. As the renowned Central Saint Martins' Fashion MA director, Louise Wilson, who taught Mary, said to us backstage, "this was Mary's moment."
For AW11, Mary decided to take us inside the decadent rooms which inspired her collection for spring. Her fantasies about the truly glamourous lives and possessions of high-society women Diana Vreeland, Babe Paley and The Duchess of Windsor, led Mary to draw inspiration for her prints and silhouettes from the most refined and extortionate objects found in the apartments of the elite.
From Faberge eggs to Dynasty china, the designer's hyper-real prints intricately and expertly placed upon the female form created a joyful, exquisitely ostentatious aesthetic for AW11. Clashing and contrasting across different garments, it was beautifully indulgent and as Mary put it, "a master-class in print" which pushed her work above and beyond anything she'd shown us before.
What also really pushed this collection forwards for Mary was the head-to-toe wardrobe that she was set on creating. Usually a pretty dress-heavy affair, for AW11, the designer turned her hand to nipped-waist jackets, the most amazing high-waist flares, full skirts, and jacquard knits that were all matched and mismatched together beautifully.
While Mary's curved fishbowl and vase-like skirts were an extension of the lampshades she experimented with for spring, her surreal silhouettes felt seductively new. Porcelain bowls became rounded skirts on pinafores while the open halves of a Faberge egg formed dramatic peplums over the hips.
Such breathtaking silhouettes were reminiscent of Christian Dior's New Look and as she told us after her show, the world of haute couture was never far from her mind. After all, this is what the women who's belongings inspired Mary's AW11 collection wore after all!
We'd happily settle for a pair of the Christian Louboutin boots on show, but know that at some point very soon, we'll see one of the industry's major players sporting a breathtaking Mary Katrantzou embellished beauty. We just hope it's Anna Dello Russo in the bejeweled three dimensional rose skirt that quite literally blew us away.
One of the most exquisite and innovative shows of London Fashion Week AW11, make sure you watch Mary's AW11 show. It's the one from this season that you definitely don't want to miss out on seeing…
Margot Bowman who's been illustrating the shows for us also loved Mary Katrantzou's collection – just look at how she's made those floral patterns wiggle.