Mary Katrantzou Barneys New York

A Glimpse Into The Wild Imagination of Mary Katrantzou

I had a lovely dinner with designer Mary Katrantzou and some friends from out of town last week, and with great enthusiasm, Mary suddenly decided that she had a game for us to play. Each person would take turns asking the question, “If I were a ____ , what would it be like?” and everyone else would answer it.

For my turn, I posed the question, “If I were a building, what would it be like?” Each of the responses was quite interesting and insightful, but Mary’s stood out. She had a very clear vision of this building—so vivid, in fact, that I asked her to write it out for me:

“It is a free-standing building of an old library. It has a Russian Constructivist exterior, and inside you can see rows and rows of study tables made from dark oak. The ceilings are tall, and the floor is all marble, inset with dark green and burgundy marble inserts that contour perfectly every study table in the room. The windows are big but set into the building, so there is a distance between the exterior and the glass. From outside you can see the rows of tables in perfect alignment, and in the far distance you can just make out that it is a library because you get a glimpse of the books that surround the room.”

Do I feel a Spring 2013 print coming to life? As I listened to Mary speak I couldn’t help but think about her unforgettable prints. Just as she is eloquent and precise with her words, her technical capability and depth of imagination are undeniable in her vibrant designs. For this spring perhaps Mary was thinking, “If you were a fish tank, what would it be like?”

- Tomoko Ogura, Barneys CO-OP Fashion Director


1. Jane Aldridge in Mary Katrantzou’s Flower bow print dress; 2. Coral print twist dress; 3. Fish tank scarf; 4. Anna Dello Russo in Mary Katrantzou; 5. Lee Lee Sobieski in Mary Katrantzou

Shop the Mary Katrantzou collection at Barneys New York.

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