Reaching Mary Katrantzou’s show venue Sunday night felt like going to the other end of the earth. Turned out her collection referenced our planet before geological upheaval split Pangaea into separate continents, and before nightmare traffic clogged fashion capitals.
So how did tectonic shifts translate into evening dresses? Quite fetchingly, as the designer went beyond computer-generated prints to what she described backstage as a more “ethereal” direction.
She continued to experiment with metallic and guipure lace, melding it with panels of lingerie silk or pleats to create intricate bustier and baby-doll dresses in nude or pastel shades. As her narrative progressed from land upheaval to ocean ridges, she added dense clusters of jet beads and yet more lace in coral configurations that crawled over prim dresses with neat collars à la Valentino.
While some of her seed-beaded panels looked as stiff as sandpaper, and they did not always glide over illusion netting in the most flattering ways, Katrantzou’s densely decorated clothes command attention.