Exclusive: Mary Katrantzou On Why She’s Turned Her Back On Digital Print

Designer Mary Katrantzou exclusively talks Marie Claire Runway through the Brownie badges and road signs that inspired her AW14 collection.

When the queen of digital print turns her back on the craft that made her, there can only really be one possible reason – she’s dreamt up something even better. An über-embellished collection clad in heavy metal hardware and collectable badges, Mary Katrantzou’s AW14 offering is like nothing she’s ever done before, yet it still feels very her.

Mary’s brilliant turn to lace-making sees her collage family crests with loo symbols and road signs with Brownie badges in one of the greatest style mash-ups we think we’ve ever seen.

Speaking exclusively to Marie Claire Runway, she tells us exactly what she was thinking…


‘It started with uniforms, which I thought would give me the space to do something that involved a more grounded silhouette,’ she said of her relatively ordinary-sounding starting point.

‘We had this division, the scouts, the artisans, the construction workers, the bankers… men’s uniforms. It [is] about all the symbols that you use to indicate the group you’re part of.

‘Up to that point, all the badges we’d been looking at were all really small brown Scout badges. These were oversized and when I saw them, I realised you could explore them as a textile.’

(Image: Mary exclusively shows her Brownie badge collection to Marie Claire Runway)


Then things started to get extraordinary…

‘We started playing with all these badges and created them as a pure lace. It’s something I’ve never done before. I wanted all the symbols to come from as far-fetched places that they could, so that it didn’t become about one thing. There’s a lot of heraldic insignia, but equally there’s little men going to the toilet, or passing through security.’

(Image: More of Mary’s epic collection)

‘I loved that there are these universal symbols and we all know what they are. The idea was, if there was no language and you were using a collection to communicate through symbols, what would you do?’

Read more of this interview, plus 11 more exclusives (including chit-chats with Karl Lagerfeld, Sarah Burton, Henry Holland and more) in the new AW14 issue of Marie Claire Runway – on sale now.

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