Horror vacui vs modernism. Heritage vs techy. the billowing bourgeoisie vs the restrained rectilinear. For Autumn/Winter 2015 Katrantzou observes the inverse relationship between the horror vacui art movement and reactionary modernism. An exploration of the relationship between heritage opulence and techy utopia, the collection seeks to redefine the parameters of modern luxury and documents the significance of value perception.
From the victorian grandiose, a maximalist demonstration of wealth and social stature through heady excess, to the contemporary pursuit for minimalist luxury – stealth wealth. The collection juxtaposes both paradigms, capturing the filtered beauty within each. The linear contrasts with the sinuous; the modernist restraint is in dialogue with the floridly embellished and kenophobia is observed through a purist lens.
The victorian parlour found a parallel on the back of the victorian woman. decadence and decoration moved to the body of the female: a walking embodiment of social stature. Katrantzou references this through flounced, ruffled silhouettes, embracing the body tightly, kicking to fullness below the knee, with the bygone elegance of a belle epoque grandee. Garment surfaces are crowded with detail and texture. The contrast to the nineteenth century bourgeoisie? tubular echoes of a modernist aesthetic, emulated in strict rectilinear shapes and abbreviated hemlines. Silhouette is simplified, a stark contrast to the heritage verbose. Seamless moulded tailoring breathes life into the utopian concept of the ideal female form, with Katrantzou looking to automotive textile technology to create seamless sculptural forms without stitching.
Perceptions are inverted. Flared skirt panels are realised through tucks, ties and wadded hem channels. Hand-folded pvc strips create tubular volume; slim plasticised strands are embroidered onto traditional damasks adding depth and dimension. Flocked tulle and intarsia mink cut in purist lines offset with swarovski crystal and macro sequin geo embroidery. Patterns are drawn from heritage fabrics. classic damasks, rose prints and paisleys intertwined with techy organza pleats, plasticized ruffle bands and graphic foam applique.
This collection challenges and explores our notions of status, value and plain good taste.