Wear a Work of Art

"One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art" - Oscar Wilde

 

It is as if the staid cloisonné teapot and Ming Vase leapt off the mantle and become something new, warm and wearable! Mary Katrantzou's Autumn/ Winter 2011 collection was indeed a work of art, a prismatic paradise that is the perfect mix of modern innovation and ancient beauty. 

Katrantzou's inspiration can clearly be seen in both the patterns of the fabric as well as the structure of the clothing itself. The exaggerated silhouettes reference the curvatures of the Ming and Qing vase and the Faberge Egg, as chinoiserie lattice and florals frame the scenic medallions. 

Katrantzou "looked at priceless objets d’art and the refined eye of women who collect them: Coromandel screens, Faberge eggs, Qianlong dynasty china, Meissen porcelain... inspired not just by the aesthetic of the objects themselves, but by the women who owned them." With it's clearly modern take on Chinese art, it's no surprise that her fashions wound up in the Met Museums 2015 Costume Institute exhibition, China: Through The Looking Glass.  However, one of the things we love so much about Katrantzou's collection is that its clear chinoiserie references don't fall into the "Dragon Lady" or "China Doll" stereotypes that East meets West fashion can be so vulnerable to. Instead, her intricate and architectural designs convey a new take on Eastern inspiration.

Katrantzou and Erik Madigan Heck's collaboration produced yet another vision of her stunning works of art that beautifully compliment her clothing. On top of it all, Katrantzou also produced a line for Topshop in 2012, with pieces that conveyed the same stunning  vibrance and intricacy as the ones on the runway.

Katrantzou is not new to pushing the limits. She has been a pioneer in digital fabric printing as well crafting pieces that literally mirror the world around us. From fields of flowers that you feel you could sink into, to lampshade skirts that you're torn between wearing and hanging in your home. Below is a taste of our favorites from Katrantzou's Autumn/ Winter 2011 collection.

 

Autumn/ Winter 2011
Images via Mary Katrantzou