MILAN — One week after Mary Katrantzou gave birth to her son in Greece last year, Marina Rinaldi came knocking, hoping to tap the designer for the brand’s latest collaboration.
Amid the haze and distraction of new motherhood, Katrantzou agreed and the result was a buzzy, print-packed collection on display in a hall of mirrors at the Max Mara Group showroom during fashion week in Milan.
In an interview, Katrantzou said that, despite all that was going on, the timing was ideal. She had just taken her resortwear collection Mary Mare up to a U.K. size 24, “and I really wanted to learn from Marina Rinaldi, which is an expert in the [size-inclusive] space. I thought it would be a great opportunity to understand that client better,” she said.
Marina Rinaldi, which belongs to the Max Mara Group, has been creating size-inclusive fashion since the ’80s. It sells through a string of stand-alone stores and multibrand retailers worldwide, and had previously worked with brands including Roksanda and Marco de Vincenzo.
This season, it wanted to tap into Katrantzou’s extensive archive of pattern and color.
For the collaboration, Katrantzou reworked prints from her fall 2019 collection, which was based around earth, wind and fire. She came up with feathery, marbled swirls in two colorways, burgundy and teal, and worked a glen plaid into the mix, too, giving some fabrics a dreamy ombré effect.
Katrantzou precision-engineered the prints and patterns to fit a wide range of sizes — and items — including coats, dresses, skirts and tall stretchy neoprene boots.
Standout looks included a long-sleeved, off-the-shoulder glen plaid dress with ombré shades of dark red, and a belted coat in pale green with a matching faux-fur collar.
Feathery and marble swirl prints floated across stretchy boots, knife-pleat caftans and smart, belted shirt dresses, all of which were on display in a showroom filled with mirrors for an even greater kaleidoscopic effect.
Although prints dominated this collection, there were solid colors, too, in particular a long burgundy sleeveless gown worn with a long pink cape.
Katrantzou said she found a lot of common ground between her brand and Marina Rinaldi. “They do well with pleats, and so do we.” Katrantzou said she was also able to introduce more body-con shapes to the Marina Rinaldi mix, and create dresses that looked and felt “like a second skin.”
The fall 2023 collection is the first of two Katrantzou capsules, and will have its own space inside the Maria Rinaldi stores. It is meant to be mixed with other separates from the Italian brand.
Although Katrantzou has taken a break from showing on the runway — her last show was a unique outing at the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, near Athens, in 2019 — she continues to design seasonal ready to wear collections in addition to Mary Mare, with clients including Harrods, Selfridges and Matchesfashion.
Next up for Katrantzou is a handbag collaboration with Bulgari, which will be unveiled on March 3 at the Place Vendôme flagship during Paris Fashion Week.