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Mary Katrantzou on the Dallas Museum of Art, Mambo Taxis, and Her Most Dallas-y Dress

mary katrantzou fall 2013
photography courtesy of style.com

I love Mary Katrantzou and everything about her fall 2013 collection. The heartbreakingly beautiful photographic prints, the abstract kimono silhouettes, the muted palette, everything. I wasn’t able to pop in and meeting her during her personal appearance at Neiman Marcus downtown last week, but fortunately, stylist Stephanie Quadri, a sometimes contributor for D Magazine, offered up her talents and covered it. Her Q&A with the designer below:

One of my favorite designer’s of the moment, Mary Katrantzou, is in town today for a trunk show and luncheon at Neiman Marcus downtown. I got the chance to visit with the friendly Brit (she’s actually Greek, but has lived in London for 10 years and calls it home), who has been recognized for her bold prints and shapes that make for standout style. –Stephanie Quadri

Stephanie Quadri: What brought you to Dallas?
Mary Katrantzou: We are hosting trunk shows all over –in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Seattle, New York, and Dallas is our last stop. I flew in yesterday, just in time for a dinner event my friend Nasiba [Adilova] was hosting. I was surprised that people flew in from all over the place to attend–Chicago, Laguna Beach, and New York. We went to The Mansion for a little after party, which was lovely.

Will you be attending the Art Ball and what will you wear?
Yes, I understand it is a very big thing here. I didn’t really know, so all I have to wear is my black Alaia dress but maybe I’ll buy something at Neiman’s today while I am here.

What else is on your agenda while in Dallas?
Everyone says I must go to Mi Cocina for mambo taxis, so I will definitely find time to do that amongst all the events we are attending. It would be great to see the Cindy Sherman exhibit as I haven’t had a chance to view it yet, and I hear it’s a really great space at the DMA. Better than the MOMA, a friend of mine mentioned.

Tell us about your technique and approach to designing.
It all starts with an image that I really like. It’s all about the composition and building on the shapes. That leads to a collage, which guides the collection as a theme. From there I start painting it on the computer with pixels. Everything I do is on the computer. Composing something surreal and using that to create a print to paint and then on the body.

mary karantzou in dallas
The "Faumi Babelona" dress, far left.

How long does that process take?
We don’t stop working until show time. So about six months. Then three more months post-show to get the prints right.

Inspiration for the fall/winter 2013 collection?
It was based on landscapes. I wanted to stripe away the color this time to showcase other elements like our leather and brocade fabrics. To give it a deeper, moodier feel. The abstract textures give it a more diversified print that is easier for customers who don’t typically wear prints. It’s a good way to introduce them to it. There is some color in the collection, as well. I know how women in Texas love their color.

What piece do you think the women of Dallas will love?
I think they are going to like the ‘Faumi Babelona’ dress. It’s a cap-sleeve dress with a waist and full skirt that hits just below the knee, featuring the print on our brocade fabric with a little metallic woven in.
Note: we hear someone was interested in wearing this very dress to the Art Ball so be on the lookout for it to make an appearance on one lucky lady.

Do you ever take time off?
I visit my family in Athens every summer, it’s the only break I really take.

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