Mary Katrantzou Branches Out into Bridal
The London-based designer discusses her first wedding dress.
Last weekend, Mary Katrantzou’s hundred thousand Instagram followers tagged along with the designer to the wedding of Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster in the Dominican Republic—and many couldn’t take their eyes off the bride’s beautiful gown. Katrantzou filled us in on what it was like designing her first wedding dress. What was the inspiration behind the dress? When Carolina first came to the studio we started looking through our archive, pulling her favorite pieces from past collections and deciding how we could create something perfectly tailored to her. She loved the “cake a flake” and “ivory” dresses from my Fall 2012 collection, but also the sporty necklines from my Spring 2013 “postage stamp/banknote” collection. We didn’t want to do a classic strapless dress; we wanted it to be modern and original. One thing she really wanted was lots of fabric and movement, so the focus was on the skirt and designing it in a way that it appears effortless, even though it was made out of 120 meters of chiffon muslin and crinoline support! How is designing a wedding dress different from ready-to-wear? I became so emotionally involved—particularly during the later fittings. And we had 8 fittings! Carolina and I became really close friends throughout the process. She was so open and positive and even though I had never done a wedding dress before, she really trusted me to create the perfect dress for her. I flew to the Dominican Republic for the wedding and when it all came together I felt so humbled to be part of such a special day in her life. It felt like I’d known her for years. Although you’re known for digital prints and embellishments, this dress is more minimalist. How did you make that decision? We didn’t feel it was necessary to embellish it—it was more about the movement of the dress. Everyone was playing with it all night long and she danced and swirled in it for 8 hours! It wasn’t a simple dress but it had a purity in its design and its lines that I think really suited her. Would you consider designing a bridal collection in the future? I’m not sure, but it’s such a great experience if you feel inspired by the person you are designing it for. It’s a very intimate experience and a time consuming one, too, so it has to feel right.