In four short years, greek-born Mary Katrantzou has become a household name uttered by many fashion insiders. Despite having been courted by stores and the likes since her graduation from the pretigious Central Saint Martins School of Design in 2008, it was her spring/summer 2011 collection that really catapulted her to fame.
Her signature hyper-real and paradisiacal prints ws seen on dresses that feature lampshade skirts. That collection single-handedly made Katrantzou's fledgling label one of the must-see brands of London Fashion Week from then on.
Celebrity fans of Mary Katrantzou architectural printed dresses include A-list red carpet darlings such as Beyonce, alesha Dixon, Keira Knightley, Leighton Meester and Alexa Chung as well as industry bigwigs like Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld
As the story goes, Katrantzou started out as a student of architecture, having attended the Rhode Island School of Design where she was studying for a BA in Architecture. A few years into the course, Katrantzou decided to drop out and transfer to London's Central Saint Martins where she completed her BA and MA in fashion design. According to Vogue, her father never wanted her to go to Central Saint Martins. She said: "He wanted me to stick with architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, which was my original plan," she told us. At CSM, Katrantzou was in the same class as Mark Fast, Christopher Shannon and Michael van der Ham. each of them went on to become some of the most recognisable names in fashion.
Her architectural background is apparent, and can be seen in the shapes of her designs. Speaking to Vogue, Katrantzou revealed that it was "architectural ambition that comes into play". Once she starts working on clothes, she was always interested in how the silhouette worked in 3-D around the body.
"So when the print trend does subside, we'll hopefully have a visual language that translates to fabric, shape, embroidery and knitwear in the collections that will bear no obvious resemblance to whatever print might have originally inspired it!"
To date, Katrantzou has won numerous design awards, including this year's BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. She beat an impressive shortlist of fellow London Fashion Week names including Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster.