Listen to this article
It’s a rare show note that makes you reach for the dictionary, but at Mary Katrantzou I was quickly flummoxed: “godets of prints”, “matelasse” and “flammarion” engraving were all quoted as features of her stellar SS16 collection.
A godet, as it happens, is an insert of fabric used to add volume to a skirt, or in this case pretty folkloric dresses with a Mittel flavour that were woven together in a patchwork of patterns.
This show was about the dress: some trapezoid with heavy Spanish ruffles, some iridescent in matelasse, a quilt-stitch effect that sparkled in a rainbow of metallics in the light. Others were made in lace, which was woven as ribbons into wool or pinstripe, or embroidered with beadwork that seemed to breeze over scarf-draped tops. There were sequinned dresses, dresses with a rose motif, and dresses laced with mirrored panels.
Each were a wonder of technical skill, craftsmanship and dexterity. All were sublimely pretty. Many were very short. One can only imagine a slightly more demure length will follow in the commercial line — Katrantzou is an excellent merchandiser and saleswoman, she must know that the more modest sleeveless vest tunics, worn with pleat trousers, would be a sad compromise for fans of her multi-layered design.
This collection was visually thrilling. And, for all the verbosity of its description, quite simply very pretty.