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Take a Fashion Trip to Atlanta

See Why Celebrities Seek This Designer's Iconic Looks

Article by Julie Brown Patton

Photography by Courtesy of SCAD

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

Awaiting guests at the Savannah College of Art and Design FASH Museum of Fashion + Film on the university's Atlanta campus is a stunning solo exhibition that celebrates a decade of iconic looks from a notable designer who hails from Greece. But hurry—this exhibit only runs through Sept. 22.

The KALEIDOSCOPE KATRANTZOU: Mary Katrantzou, 10 Years in Fashion exhibition pays homage to this coveted designer’s namesake label. The presentation spotlights her iconic and innovative approach to combining fashion, art and technology.

Known for her limitless imagination, Mary draws from enchanting, unexpected sources. For example, Fabergé eggs, Bauhaus posters, postage stamps, perfume bottles and typewriters were all worked into her collections.

“Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa,” Mary says. 

Her garments are highly sought-after by fashionistas, collectors and celebrities alike and have been worn by Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Naomi Campbell. In December 2018, Mary was invited to design Beyoncé’s look for the Global Citizen Festival. The majestic ensemble consisted of floral patchwork based on the contours of the African continent printed on a sequin base and hand-embroidered with Swarovski crystals. Tapped for prestigious partnerships with brands such as Atelier Swarovski, Victoria’s Secret, Longchamp, Moncler and Adidas Originals, she also has collaborated with artist-provocateur Pablo Bronstein, designed costumes for the New York City Ballet and Paris Opera, and exhibited her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

More than 80 of Mary's cutting-edge creations from the past 10 years of her career can be explored in this new exhibition, including fashion, fibers, illustrations and a selection of looks from each of her runway collections.

Mary was born to a mother who is an interior designer and to a father who is a trained textile engineer. She moved to the United States in 2003 to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design but later transferred to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where she completed her bachelor's degree in 2005 and her master's degree in 2008. Her graduation show in 2008, which featured trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewelry on jersey-bonded dresses, took the fashion industry by storm. She then remained living in London. 

Her first ready-to-wear collection debuted at London Fashion Week in February 2009. Despite a small collection of nine dresses, she reportedly picked up 15 stockists, including Browns, Joyce and Colette. Her collections are now sold in 200-plus fashion shops in at least 47 countries. She even works with Adidas for both clothing and footwear.

SCAD faculty from the university’s top-ranked school of fashion indicate Mary's innovative design philosophy mirrors SCAD’s signature approach to cross-disciplinary education at all of their global locations. 

“By experiencing extraordinary, world-class exhibitions at SCAD FASH, students and guests observe the work of global fashion superstars,” says Paula Wallace, SCAD's president and founder. “They also meet and exchange ideas directly with creators of the work. Only at SCAD!”

KALEIDOSCOPE KATRANTZOU was curated by Alexandra Sachs, SCAD FASH executive director; and Rafael Gomes, director of fashion exhibitions. 

SCAD FASH is open to the public with the cost of museum admission. 

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