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Giving dresses a digital twist

By Sun Yuanqing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-04-01 07:54

Giving dresses a digital twist

London-based Greek designer Mary Katrantzou brings her new collection (top) in Beijing for the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"When we show them the collection in a trunk show, they always say: 'No, it's not for me', or 'Yes, I absolutely love it.' So you get to understand how they dress because they openly say how they feel."

Katrantzou's mother is an interior designer and her father works in fabric design. She studied architecture before setting her sights on textiles and fashion. She has a bachelor's degree in textile design from Central Saint Martins, followed by a master's in fashion design.

She first caught the attention of the fashion world at her graduation show at Central Saint Martins with dresses featuring digital prints of oversized jewelry that would have been too heavy to wear in real life.

Since then, she has printed everything - from interior design to perfume bottles on dresses - shaping women's bodies with the clever use of graphics.

For her last few collections, she has gone beyond prints to a more diversified approach that also integrates tailoring and craftsmanship.

Katrantzou has won a slew of awards, including the Swiss Textiles Award in 2010, the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear in 2011 and the New Establishment Award at the British Fashion Award in 2015.

With the recent appointment of fashion industry veteran Trino Verkade as CEO, the brand is now evolving from one that is mostly about printed dresses to a label that incorporates outerwear and other day-to-day pieces.

Katrantzou has also collaborated with brands like Moncler, Longchamp, Adidas and Topshop, fusing her talent with expertise from the other brands.

The next stop, she says, is probably Shanghai, China's other hub for fashion and culture.

"I want all women who come to the show to see the different layers and the collection and hopefully take that to other cities in China.

"China is massive. So for us, it's about taking small steps and allowing the market to know the brand first."

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