Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Patterns of waves, collaged prints, and light and shadow enlivened Mary Katrantzou’s spring collection, blurring the line between actual fabric manipulation and mere tromp l’oeil. While several of the designers who showed in New York used digital printing technology to capture elements in nature, Katrantzou was inspired by the striking visuals of glassblowing. The colorful and gently swirling forms translated into a synthesis of prints drawn from scientific alchemy, animal skins, far-off galaxies, fractals of the spectrum, and smoke and mirrors. The designer seemed to allow the expansive engineered prints to dictate the movement of her dresses, cutting hourglass sheaths, asymmetrical shoulders, and scalloped fan shapes to enhance the graphics. Many of the prints also emulated the texture of fabric, such as a smattering of bright yellow flecks that looked like sequins and white water droplets on black fabric, creating a liquid-like surface. Although Katrantzou has an impressive eye for visual rhythm and balance, a reliance on digital technology may be a bit limiting, moving the artist yet one step further away from the handicraft tradition of fashion.
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