Pret-a-Reporter

Designers Dish: Mary Katrantzou

Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com/Courtesy of Filmnoir
Kiernan Shipka, left, and Mary Katrantzou at the A to Z collection launch party.

The famed Brit designer, who recently launched her A to Z tote bag collaboration with MatchesFashion.com, talks prints and personal style.

London-based designer Mary Katrantzou launched her line of kaleidoscopic-colored digital prints in 2009, and since then her designs have become a huge sensation on the red carpet, worn by some of Hollywood's biggest names including Kerry Washington, Lily James, Jenny Slate and Elizabeth Banks, to name a few. 

See more Stars Went Wild With Prints at Mary Katrantzou's Collection Launch Party

In fact, she's help ushered in the age of prints, as they've become wildly popular on gowns, coats and shoes. Now Katrantzou has launched a line of dazzling kinetic print totes with fashion e-commerce site MatchesFashion.com. Not only is there every color in the rainbow in the line, there's every initial from A to Z on the bags. During the collaboration launch party in L.A. earlier this week, we chatted exclusively with the creative genius about the bags, her design direction, and what prefers to wear (spoiler alert: it's not prints!).

MatchesFashion.com's buying director Natalie Kingham says of working with Mary, "We have a very close relationship with her and wanted to partner on a special project for a while now. Our clients love it when we collaborate on something that reflects the bands' DNA yet is exclusive. These limited totes capture what is so brilliant about Mary — her fantastical imagination, and her sense of practicality."

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The Hollywood Reporter: You pretty much put the digital print on the map. How do you keep reinventing it?

Mary Katrantzou: I think it's important to innovate in what you do and I was proposing something new with print when I started. Print is so visual you can really do and say a lot with it, and it's allowed me to create my own distinctive world. My collections are thematic and look at filtered beauty in design; I like to challenge myself to build a new perception that allows for a wider spectrum of qualities. Color, texture and shape are equally important to print. Fabrication and experimenting with different techniques of creating luxurious effects with fabric is pivotal in my work. Taking that step and pushing your work further is always a challenge. My work goes beyond print and is more about perception, so I always focus on the silhouette and innovation in fabrication.

Why collaborate with MatchesFashion.com for this new collection of totes and your fashion collection at large?

MatchesFashion.com is one of my favorite online stores — the collections are so well curated with the perfect mix between wearable and fashion pieces. I think it caters to a woman who is style conscious while also wanting to remain practical. My work lends itself well to online shopping as it is so visual — the colors and the patterns lend themselves well to an online environment. 

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How did the totes come about?

The idea to do a collection based around the alphabet came form my resort 2015 collection, which was inspired by the alphabet. I thought it would be fun to come p with my own Mary's A to Z, and create designers around each letter of the alphabet. Monogramming and personalization has become such a trend in recent seasons. MatchesFashion.com loved the idea, so we decided to partner with them to create our own lexical world. This is a limited edition — make sure you don't miss it!

So we understand that you yourself never wear print?

My personal style is very monochromatic as I work with print so much that I like to cleanse my palette. I love accessorizing with bring print and colors to create a focal point. That being said, I love seeing women match print with print - I find it so interesting how different people style my clothes and accessories. Sometimes more is more!

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