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Mary Katrantzou & Peter Pilotto = Printastic

September 17, 2012

It seems like we’ve gone through every style possibly imaginable. From Grecian tunics all the way through 90’s power suits, humans have figured out innovative ways to cover their bodies. Thanks to a little global recession, amongst other things, fashion has seemed to stall in some odd safe zone for the last couple years. Especially now, many people…fashion designers, bloggers, retailers, buyers…and so on are all asking the same questions: What is the next frontier when it seems like everything has been covered already? Do it all over again, just with a twist?

Everyone probably has their own opinion about this topic. I have a couple opinions, but today I just want to talk about one. My answer to those questions is simply another question: What do we have today that we haven’t had in the past? What new something do we have that can affect fashion in a way it wasn’t able to earlier simply because it does not exist? The answer: technology. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always had technology. Technically, a wheel and axel is technology. What I want to hone in on today is fabric technology. We are able to create fibers and fabrics that no one would have even imagined 50, 10, even 5 years ago. New fiber and fabric technology can be played out in many different ways. Let’s look at the the way two different fashion labels have used it to define who they are and to stake out a name for themselves in the competitive world of fashion design. Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto (made up of Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos) have taken prints and printing technology to a whole new level. Not only do they construct intricate patterns via computer rendering they actually use the patterns to change the way we see the entire outfit.

Let’s look at an example. What do you see when you look at this dress? Undoubtedly, you notice the hourglass appearance, even though this is a sack dress of sorts. It’s a total mirage. Genius.

I would argue that the hardest part of being a fashion designer is taking a conceptual thought, making it into a 2-d sketch, then a 2-d pattern, then an actual 3-d piece of clothing that looks like your initial thought. These designers are taking it a step further by asking this question: How can I design a print that visually changes the entire appearance of a garment? Now, do I think that print design and new printing technology is the future for every designer in fashion? Definitely not. But, it sure is working well for these kids.

Enough talking…here are some of my favorites from the collections:

Mary Kantrantzou: Her collection is based on postage stamps and foreign currency. so cool.

Peter Pilotto:

All photos came from If you click on the designer’s name, it will take you to that designer’s spring collection on Smile

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