|In early geologic times, the Earth was dominated by a supercontinent, the mass of the scattered geography we know today combined into a single body, smothering one-third of the planet’s surface and surrounded by a global ocean. That mass was dubbed Pangaea, meaning “all the Earth” and the ocean Panthalassa, “all the ocean." Some 200 million years ago, The jigsaw puzzle of land was pulled apart, to form something new.Pangaea and Panthalassa are the unifying ideas behind Mary Katrantzou’s spring/summer 2015 collection. In abstraction, the idea is evocative of movement, pulling and shifting; in allegorical terms, the birth of the earth, of its flora and fauna as well as the settling into position of our contemporary continents, offers creative source material. It inspires a narrative, expressed through a combination of naturalistic forms and abstract shapes breaking on the body.
The palette of the collection shifts through earth tones of nude and sandstone and mossy olive, to pastel shades of coral, sky-blue and sea foam green and finally to vibrant, rich, heightened hues of the same palate. Fabrics are soft, tailoring fluid in light summer wools and tulle with sharp floating seed bead panels. Paneling also lend itself to ruptured baby doll dresses, pleats split to float away from the body. These dresses mesh together a multitude of different textiles into an intricate puzzle, a Pangaea of surface texture.
The organic and the geometric are constantly juxtaposed, a dialogue between them continually explored. Lace is woven to represent foliage or intertwined serpents, motifs which also reappear in custom jacquards, coral embroidery and fil coupé organza. They symbolise natural life emerging from the newly formed continents of pre-history.
Snakeskin pattern slithers across a scale-woven python lace, and foliate open ended geuipure designs are applied to bonded sea bead panels. Fantastical creatures, mythological hybrids from earth and sea, are translated into lace appliqué motifs. Complex seaweed and Swarovski crystal anemone embroidery is embedded into a series of shirt dresses.
Inspired by the earth’s tectonic plates and oceanic ridges, a series of evening dresses, trousers and tops feature dramatic fissures of embroidery and paneling, occasionally erupting with horsehair embroideries.
Accessories are treated with the printed seed bead application seen throughout the collection, including the Gianvito Rossi footwear and the MVK handbag. Intricate metal, enamel and embedded crystal jewellery allows the imagined prehistoric creatures of water and land to leap into three dimensional reality: Pangaea and Panthalassa rediscovered, paradise regained.