Mary Katrantzou, the queen of print, introduces her very first collection of shoes with Gianvito Rossi – the quality craftsmanship of the luxury Italian brand is combined with the originality of the prints and designs of the young English designer. From the classic Lisa pump declined in iconic prints of the prêt-à-porter collection of the designer to the heeled lace-up Alexa shoe seen on the runway, the shoes created for this extraordinary collaboration are ultra-feminine and unique – capable of reinventing any outfit.
Awaiting the arrival of Mary Katrantzou x Gianvito Rossi AW14/15 on shoescribe.com, we interviewed the designer about the collaboration and the importance of shoes in the eyes of a woman.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Gianvito Rossi?
Collaborating with other designers is a creative challenge. I feel that our AW14 collection is particularly important as it is a reflection of how our relationship as designers has evolved. I’ve always admired Gianvito’s ability to push the boundaries of classic femininity, whilst staying true to quality craftsmanship. For the upcoming AW season, instead of developing the collection around prints as we had for SS14, we took inspiration from the classic loafer – transforming its timeless shape into a modern design accessory to complete my prêt-à-porter collection.
What is the most challenging aspect of a creative collaboration?
It’s always interesting when two creative visions combine as it calls for compromise – it allows you to explore new territories, aspects which throughout the design process may otherwise be overlooked. Although we share different design aesthetics, our motivation has always been the same – we are always looking to develop the way that femininity is approached.
Who was the woman you had in mind when designing this season of the collaboration?
I never work with a specific muse in mind. Instead I try to create pieces which reflect qualities I feel are present in all women regardless.
What is your creative process when designing a new print in general?
At the beginning of the collection everything tends to focus around a mood board. Everything I’ve collected inspiration wise is pinned up on one board and then we work from there. I like to think of print and structure simultaneously as I think that prints can be engineered in such a way that they are as definitive as a cut or a drape.
In your opinion, why do women love shoes so much?
I’m a great believer in that what you wear should be an extension of who you are. If a great pair of shoes has the ability to lift your mood then this will translate in how you come across. For me fashion should be less about conforming to what is on trend, but dictated by an innate sense of style, entirely personal to the wearer.
What is your go-to shoe for working? An evening out?
I have a selection of flat ankle boots that I wear everyday: at work comfort is the number one priority. For an evening event I love to incorporate a little colour into my outfit with some statement jewellery – some might say I have a slight jewellery obsession! Accessories have the ability to really lift an outfit – recently I’ve been wearing the Lisa pump in Roush Diaz (a jewel print) from our SS14 collaboration with Gianvito Rossi.
Comfort or glamour?
70% comfort, 30% glamour! I work very long hours and travel all the time, so comfort takes priority. But when I’m going to an event or a dinner then I like to dress up – who doesn’t!?
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you be doing?
At university I actually studied architecture – fashion wasn’t really on the agenda. My mother is an interior designer and my father is an architect, so I grew up in the world of design. But whilst studying architecture at Rhode Island School of Design I met my boyfriend who was moving to London; he suggested a BA in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins. I applied and in 2008 I graduated from my MA in Fashion Design. So who knows – if I hadn’t followed him to London, then I’d probably be an architect now!
Discover Mary Katrantzou x Gianvito Rossi’s collection