ONE THING YOU'D BE surprised to learn about Greek-born, London-based designer Mary Katrantzou—known for her vibrant colors and photo-real prints—is that she grew up wearing a wardrobe that was anything but that. "When I was around 14 or 15, I started wearing only black—black Converse, black jeans, and a black T-shirt," she says. The 31-year-old's personal style and mostly white apartment let her imagination run free to create the memorable trompe l'oeil patterns from ordinary objects like shoes (spring 2014), stamps (spring 2013), and perfume bottles (fall 2009) that she's shown on the runways since establishing her namesake label five years ago. For her second resort collection, the Central Saint Martins grad focused on calligraphy and typography. "We started looking at Milton Glaser typography and the adornment of the letters in manuscripts like The Book of Kells," she says. From there, she whipped up tulle dresses flocked with glitter and metallic jacquard suiting embossed with graphic letters and symbols in colors inspired by the movie Fantasia. To go with these pieces, Katrantzou introduced a line of clutches that collectively spell out her name—the next step toward building a lifestyle brand. "The idea is to influence a woman's wardrobe in as many ways as possible," she says. With the debut of her first costumes for the New York City Ballet in September, a collection for Adidas set to launch later this month (she's also worked with brands like Current/Elliott and Moncler in the past), and an ongoing collaboration with Gianvito Rossi, we'd say she's doing just that.
1. SHOES price upon request; marykatrantzou.com for similar styles.
2. DRESS price upon request; marykatrantzou.com.
3. DRESS price upon request; modaoperandi.com.
4. SNEAKERS $180 at Barneys New York; (212) 826-8900.
5. SNEAKERS $170 at Barneys New York; (212) 826-8900.
6. CLUTCHES from $2,870 each; marykatrantzou.com.
All items, Mary Katrantzou; sneakers, Adidas Originals by Mary Katrantzou.