London Fashion Week: Disney's 'Fantasia' Hits the Runway

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Mary Katrantzou Fall 2017

London designer Mary Katrantzou took inspiration from the 1940 film.

Mary Katrantzou has been known to take inspiration from the most far-flung yet specific sources. Previous collections have been based around a box of crayons, a postage stamp and paper bank notes, but the execution is so subtle you’d hardly notice it at first glance.

It’s a good thing, then, that if Disney were to collaborate with any designer on the London Fashion Week schedule, it should choose Katrantzou. Not a Mickey Mouse T-shirt in sight, this was a near-couture like production of the most elegant fairy tale elements of the 1940 masterpiece Fantasia.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra serenaded models slipping in and out of the cavernous halls of the Tate Modern, lending a film noir feel to the cinematic collection. In fact, show notes described one of the key techniques as “fabrics and prints meld seamlessly into one another, like the scenes from a film crossfading.” 

The fabrics themselves lent a magical air — a glinting emerald fur here, a shimmering brocade there. Beaded fringing was worked onto the elbows of dresses to “animate” the garment as it moved, and honor Walt Disney’s legacy.

Perspex swans (inspired by the artist MC Escher) swam straight into houndstooth for a fantastical touch on a coat. Trouser suits were cut in a structured style with exaggerated hips for a feminine touch recalling the New Look era. In a nod to sensuality, piping traced the curves on dresses outlining an hourglass silhouette.

Chunky velvet platform loafers lifted tweed suits to the modern era, and brightly colored shearling collars made them feel inexplicably youthful. Airy puffed sleeves, nipped-in waists and the expert cut of cigarette pants made this a collection clearly cut by a woman, for a woman.

The evening wear was pure red-carpet fantasy, with tiny Tinkerbells mingling with beaded flowers, laid over sparkling constellations. Even a slightly rogue My Little Pony-style centaur couldn’t spoil the ethereal nature of Oscar-worthy gowns.