Mary Katrantzou, chosen by Frida Giannini at Gucci
You've been very busy recently, how are you coping with the increasing industry attention?
It’s only been 1.5 years since I started, so much has changed -it has been a very exciting time. It’s great to be able to say that we have a small team now with a common goal. I constantly learn more about what the brand represents and what we are about.
What was it that first inspired you to move into the digital prints for which you’re famed?
I studied textile design before doing my MA in Fashion, so prints were my strength. I wanted to create prints derived from Art and Design- that’s how I started on the photorealistic side of things. I take Inspiration from objects that would not be able to be worn if it were real. However, it’s more than a trompe l’oeil string of pearls or a trompe l’oeil button - It’s utilizing appropriation as a medium to create a print of an icon of luxury that you can now wear.
Who are your key fashion world influences?
My collections are very thematic and that gives me the opportunity to change my influences depending on the collection. I have always admired Chanel, Prada, Geoffrey Beene, Balenciaga, Sciaparrel and Cardin because they have changed the shape of fashion.
Your work has been described as a product of the digital generation – how has the digital revolution influenced your work?
It has created an array of opportunities that have informed my work. I constantly try to better my skills in creating digital imagery. In a way, I have achieved a modern day version of photorealism- only applied through fashion.
How would you best describe the British fashion industry?
It’s a great platform for young designers with a strong vision and there are some great mentors to help you along the way. Schemes such as New Gen, Fashion East and Fashion Forward allow a very creative assemblage of designers to make their mark on an international level. Now is a great time for London Designers - and international press and buyers are taking note.
Who would you cite as your biggest inter-industry advocates?
Two women who believed in me from the start: Professor Louise Wilson OBE and journalist and ambassador of emerging talent, Sarah Mower. They have both nurtured young talent in many ways and I have been lucky enough to benefit from their knowledge.
Do you intend to continue showing in London?
I think London has a great fashion week and it is always directional. It’s so great to be part of it and I’m really looking forward to showing my AW10 collection in February.