Thanks to the arrival, stateside, of the British Fashion Council , we recently got a rare opportunity to chat with our current (bordering on sick) obsession, Mary Katrantzou. The down-to-earth designer has quickly become every artsy gal's go-to for creatively collaged wares of wonder. When MK mentioned she'd be down for a chat, we whipped out our iPhone, and got to the heart of the (printed) matter. It turns out there's way more to this amazing lady than meets the kaleidoscopic eye: Did you know that she dates a neurologist? Talk about yin and yang!
There are actual rubber pencils sewn into some of your fall pieces. We're super curious what inspired the stationary theme?
"The whole idea was sparked because I’ve done a lot of pieces based on art and elevated design, but I love taking something you work with every day — the mundane — and turning it into sublime evening wear. The line was divided by color, and every color has an object you associate with it. The yellow section of the collection was about the pencil, and then there are the Post-Its, and measuring tapes."
Your prints are so other-worldly in a way that almost seems subconscious — do you dream them?
"Ha! No, I don’t dream them. The research process is actually very structured in that I have a color theme, and then I research all of the objects associated with it. It’s all very methodical."
Who is your dream customer?
"It’s really difficult to choose! I’m most flattered when a woman who doesn't really wear print wears my pieces. Although, Diane Kruger always looks amazing, so she’d be one I’d love to dress."
Do you think you'll always only work with prints?
"Prints will always be a focus. I think as the collection and range grows, a lot more elements will come into play. Texture and color are my strengths, so I think that will continue, but as you mature as a designer, how that reflects in your pieces changes."
What artists hang on your walls?
"No one is hanging on my wall! There’s only two pieces with horses on, hanging up, and they came with the flat. I’ve recently had a fascination with Gerhard Richter, though. He does a lot of experimentation with abstract elements, and plays with textures and layers of paint. There’s so much interesting work around that that I would never be able to pick, and thank God, I don’t have enough money to have to, ha!"
What’s your absolute favorite thing to do in your free time?
"I like the very simple things. I’m constantly working towards a collection, with sales, or on projects so spending time with friends, going to their place for dinner, or going the movies with my boyfriend is so appreciated. The simplest things take away from craziness of what we do!"
How does your boyfriend handle your crazy schedule?
"Oh, he’s very ambitious, too. He’s a neurologist, and spends a lot of time at the hospital. The fact that we're so different is what keeps me grounded. We’ve been together for 9 years — almost 10."
Do you want to get hitched?
"Because we live together, we don’t think about that, because we’re both at a point in our lives where we’re working so hard. We don't have time to think about making the move to start a family. I know he’s the one, and I want us to be together more. It's just a matter of timing and now I’m just waiting for the next step."
What have you done while in L.A.?
"I love L.A.! It’s only my second time here so I'm still exploring the city. I think it’s more of the people here that I adore. Everyone comes with a great energy, and is really positive. I think I’m getting my head around the different places in town. We had dinner at Chateau Marmont, which was fantastic, and then had pancakes at Saddle Ranch — it was karaoke night and people rode the bull! I was like 'that’s a cool evening.' We went to Venice beach, and even though it was really touristy, it was so cool — you’ve got botox on the beach, marijuana for sale, and a psychic reading tarot cards. Wow."
Photos: Courtesy of Starworks