Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Mary Katrantzou’s spring 2018 offering is an ode to levity: cushy and airy, the silhouettes are drawn from children’s balloons and high-flown kites, bouncy with glee. An idea of spring as the year’s own youth, and the pre-digital pastimes of idealised childhoods inspire a collection whose conceptual simplicity offsets its luxe, balancing the exquisite density of its textures. From hand-braided dresses like friendship bracelets in silk-thread fringing to interlocking Perspex Lego skirts, Hama Beads embroidery to Spirograph quilting. Newfound practical touches temper the preciousness we’ve come to expect from Mary’s designs, with windbreakers’ nylons and poppers, and toggled drawstrings to gather full skirts into puffy jellyfish bells. Likely encouraged by an ever-growing fan base and some well-earned confidence, the designer embraces this season a candid playfulness that takes nothing away from her brand’s sophistication but adds to it a measure of self-awareness and versatility. A lady-like drop shoulder dress in heat-formed, heart-shaped matelassé fabric comes with the Barbie pink gloss of a carnival princess costume. Paint-by-numbers flower prints offer a refreshing update on the florals-for-spring golden rule, whereas embellished flip-flop platforms and inflatable purses topped with toy flamingos or whales may be well on their way to become next year’s must have.