Mary, Mary, Operandi

March 7, 2014 31

Mary’s Fall/Winter 2014 show during London Fashion Week was bursting at the seams, and buzzing even louder. Over the past four seasons in particular, she’s become one of the most defining highlights of London’s heritage-free new wave.


Mary Katrantzou’s growth and devlopment of her design aesthetic and brand image has been exponential to say the least. Her print ethic first came to my attention five years ago, and I’ve been an avid admirer ever since – the eye to fit as much detail as Mary does on one garment without overwhelming the body, and passersby, has been hard to come by since Lee McQueen (R.I.P.). The only others that immediately spring to mind with skills in the same vein are Prabal Gurung and Dolce & Gabbana.

So, needless to say, Mary’s Fall/Winter 2014 show during London Fashion Week was bursting at the seams, and buzzing even louder. Over the past four seasons in particular, she’s become one of the most defining highlights of London’s heritage-free new wave. But, for all of the movement’s neon stars, pom poms and odd shoe shapes, the Mary Katrantzou brand has made it very clear that the woman is to wear the clothes – the clothes, often née giant foil lolly wrapper, must not wear the woman – by making her garments blindingly practical from a distance, and mind-blowingly intricate from any number of steps closer.

Ahead of seating, the Swarovski Collective team had warned me that the collection was, to quote, “out of control”, “ground-breaking”, and “I want to cry”, which basically gave the diehard fan in me some major heart palpitations. Thirty-four ingenious takes on lace, embellishment, asymmetry, symmetry, pleating and embroidery, later, I really did want to cry. Not one look-at-me digital print in sight. Only things nobody had ever seen before – jewel encrusted fur, multi-shaped lace, python chainmail. Mary had had her epiphany and it would only be super-stardom from here on out.

At the show’s conclusion, though my seasons on the show circuit are comparatively limited, a crowd eruption would be an understatement. Except for Katy Perry being boo-ed at Moschino, I have never ever heard such an explosively genuine chorus of appreciation for any designer’s spotlight moment.

Not even for Karl.

I’m serious.



The following morning, I packed up my temporary life in London and dragged my kid brother onto a plane to Milan, daydreaming about that multi-shaped lace and those darling little sequined and Swarovski-ed robots on the hour, every hour.

I must have been raving out loud to the Moda Operandi team when I saw them between shows – because when I came to from my Tiki reverie, I was sprinting up Rue Turbigo towards Mary’s Paris showroom, to dance my way around her sales teams and shoot what I could in an hour with my favourite Moda Operandi ladies, before my next appointment.

I’m going to say it: it was the most humble-brag inducing, super speed hour of my entire month on the circuit.

Feeling the weight of every piece we tried on, going cross-eyed marveling at the ridiculous degree of hand-worked detail and perfect symmetry, and hearing Mary’s team explain the collection, its components, and its sell-points to buyers around me was both surreal and boisterously exhilarating for all on the scene. It helped that Hayley and Bettina are both hilarious, and doubly as hyperactive as I.

Upon showing my Mother these images for approval (only half a joke) before publishing this, she squealed and said that she liked “this type of garments on you, Margaret”!

My Mother does not squeal.

My Mother does not say she likes anything.

Hear that, Mary?

Pincop Lace DressJumbar G Embroidered Fur JumperDirectopios Embroidered DressTikiman Embroidered DressMvk Suede Azure Multicolour Bag

All by Mary Katrantzou, available for pre-order at Moda Operandi

  • Giulia R.

    NO STOP. YOU ARE MAKING ME CRY. These shot are so simple and so brilliant. These pieces are indeed ground-breaking. I have to get my pre-O!

  • Cátia Silva

    ahaha you want all the colection?? jaja love the dress from the first photo! they look art pieces!!!


  • Dane Hillard

    I’m really, really enjoying your new site design. I also love these outfits.

  • RunwayRibbons

    I love Mary Katrantzou’s work so much!
    I went to listen to her at The Vogue Festival ’13 & she just seems like such a lovely person!
    Love these shots Margaret! :)

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  • Joe Beverly

    sometimes, mothers are wrong . . .

  • Mafalda

    What beautiful pieces, the first dress is my favourite. You’re the best Maggie.

    Mafalda ❤

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  • aini

    I’m completely out of words! I’m usually more into simple and structured pieces but i can’t help to fall for Mary’s design. And i fall hard. (Her, and Elie Saab’s designs are my exception). Just look at how intricate and well detailed those pieces are! nothing is oerfect but in a perfect world, people would walk around wearing peices from Mary Katrantzou. Thanks Marg, for sharing those mind blowing photos! All hail Mary!

  • Mariska – fashionhooked

    Wauw, just discovered your blog. It’s amazing! You don’t have bloglovin?

  • fashion altitude

    The second dress is to die for and my favourite….gorgeous!!

  • Jeline Catt

    Margaret, you are too perf!!! You look absolutely stunning in MK! x

  • Emma

    INCREDIBLE!Mary Katrantzou is one of my all-time favourite designers, you look beautiful in these pieces and your words really reflect how much you love them

  • Frenchies Under The Sun
  • Francesca

    my gosh, you are the luckiest woman alive. Oh the things I would do to be you….


  • Citizens of the World

    We saw this on Instagram. Beautiful work!

  • Amanda Chan

    I can feel the huge waves of excitement from both the video and the post. Mary Katrantzou growth over the years has been phenomenal, and she continues to come up with such innovative designs. Beautiful outfit photos also – love how you pared it all back to show off Mary’s work.

  • Dilek Asanoska

    Really exquisite designs and handwork!

  • Donna Louise

    Erm not sure why I have never read your blog before?? The dress is exquisite and looks unbelievable on you.. i loved all your fashion week street style looks and now I’m so glad I can read your blog too

    Donna x

  • Java Meijer

    This is perfection.
    Hate how beautiful you are and really everything looks good on you!

  • Christine loves to travel

    Amazing dress! You definitely wear it not the other way around 😉

  • mathek

    You have hands down the most stunning fashion blog images. this collection was a total delicious surprise and I love it.

  • Eileen

    omg watched the video with a friend at her house. SO CUTE OMG <3 we love you!!!

  • Andra

    I think I just had a fashgasm. You look amazing! xoAndra


    what an amazing experience!!

  • Cindy Karmoko

    omg so jelly! amazing amazing amazing collection by the one and only mary.

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  • Ahka Vintage
  • Chelsea Dunstan

    this video is so cute


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