Out-of-this-world embellishment at Mary Katrantzou. Photography by Sean Cunningham
Report by Julia Robson

You can rely on Mary Katrantzou’s show to be explorative, unexpected, out of this world, even. From concept through to delivery, she inhabits her own planet. Following on from last season’s earth-bound theme of corsets fused with Victoriana furnishings, last night’s show was inspired by starry cosmology (space is already in fashion’s orbit, we note). Blast-off came with a dazzling line-up of dresses encrusted with glittering moon-rock embroidery, which, unlike in past collections, were as light as to defy gravity. Teamed with silver, gold and purply-pink sparkly tights, it felt rather Age of Aquarius.

You’d expect the best view of the universe to come from the Atacama Desert, but Katrantzou chose the Balkans. Inspired by the 1988 movie Time of the Gypsies (which follows the life of a magical Romanian boy), she looked at tailoring in marginalised societies, which is where the ribboning, spliced insertions and puzzle-effect motifs came in.

“In the past, I’ve built upon structure and unusual materials,” she said, “but it suddenly felt instinctive to explore intricacy and the idea of microscopic fabrication. I wanted to create dresses so featherlight you could pack them in your suitcase.” For the inaugural on Virgin Galactic, perhaps? There were plenty of knits and sculptural jackets to layer over those pretty dresses, too. “I’m moving my work in a way that I hope will still feel desirable, but wearable – and enchanting.” The force awakens.

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