Tuesday 5th May

| BY Paul Toner

10 Questions with Mary Katrantzou as She Launches her Mary-Mare Capsule Collection

Mary Katrantzou is all about creating true fashion fantasy. You don’t have to look further than the designer’s mammoth SS20 collection which was staged at The Temple of Poseidon, styled by our very own Editrix Sophia Neophitou, to see why. 38 gowns in total, each intricately beaded work of art was inspired by Greek intellectual concepts and disciplines.  It was one of those fashion moments which had you daydreaming for weeks on end. Now the designer is back, armed and ready to whisk us away to new dream-like states – this time with the Mary-Mare resort wear capsule collection.

“Our intention was to design an all-year-round collection that feels very connected to the brand aesthetic and doesn’t have to go on markdown,” says Katrantzou. “We also wanted to celebrate and re-issue timeless prints derived from our archive and apply them on easy silhouettes that people can travel with. Our customer nowadays doesn’t only travel during the summertime. All my friends kept nudging me to design resort-wear that they can take on vacation, so we felt there was a real demand for it.”

Emblazoned in a range of vivid prints inspired by a cabinet of curiosities, including postage stamps and seashells, the collection is packed with beachwear, kaftans and day-to-night dresses, perfect for giving your lockdown wardrobe a taste of summer. “With Mary-Mare we wanted to create a capsule made of 100% natural materials and as the silhouettes will carry forward, we can offer a larger size range, going from a UK6 to UK24,” explains the designer. “It’s something we have wanted to do for a very long time but the technicality of grading each print to a new silhouette across many styles was not sustainable. By keeping the edit tight and focused we are able to grade up and include a much broader size range.”

Katrantzou will be donating 20 percent of all Mary-Mare sales to Age UK and Action for Children to support both charities in their work during the global pandemic. To mark the release of the collection, we asked the designer 10 tropical questions that’ll have you counting down the days till you can wear your Mary-Mare pieces on your next holiday.

1. How did you come up with the collection’s name Mary-Mare?

“My friend Nasiba is the godmother to Mary-Mare actually! She had been telling me for years that we should design a resort line and I think it was tqo summers ago that we were on holiday together and she asked, “when are you finally going to launch Mary-Mare!” We kept on referring to it as Mary-Mare with my team and when we finished designing it, we couldn’t think of a more perfect name. It’s a collection that is designed to be worn by the sea and fittingly it was baptised at sea!”

2. We know the Mary-Mare prints are inspired by a ‘cabinet of curiosities’, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve discovered when rooting through your own cupboards during a cleanout?

“Postcards of places I have visited or places that I want to visit. There is a feeling of nostalgia for the places that you have great memories from and a longing for the ones you have yet to discover.”

3. If you could wear the Mary-Mare collection anywhere in the world, where would it be?

“All the pieces from our inaugural collection are named after sea-side destinations in Europe. Next season will be a different continent but for this season, I’d love to wear our Positano dress in Positano and our Côte d’Azur kaftan in the French Riviera. Most of our swim ware is named after the Greek islands, so it’s only fitting that we travel to Greece with the namesake pieces!”

4. You’re headed to the beach with a Mary-Mare tote, what essentials have you packed?

“My sunscreen, my sunglasses and my Mary-Mare beach towel.”

5. Okay, you’re on the beach and you’re in your Mary-Mare bathing suit and feeling a little peckish, which Greek snack would you recommend?

“A Greek frappe! Not exactly a snack but the perfect beachside treat! Following the beach, a trip to the nearest taverna for fresh seafood is a must.”

6. Which is your favourite piece from the capsule collection and why?

“I really cannot choose, but I’ve ordered our ‘Out and about Tote’, the ‘Under the Sun’ hat and the ‘Wrap me around’ pareo!”

7. If you had to pick someone you know would look amazing in a Mary-Mare kaftan, who would it be?


8. You’re sat in a bar, somewhere hot, wearing a Mary-Mare oversized raffia hat – what’s your alcoholic beverage of choice?

“Lychee Martini!”

9. What’s your favourite way to wear a silk scarf?

“As a head wrap! I love it when the wind doesn’t mess with your hair but at the same time, it’s very stylish.”

10. If the Mary-Mare collection had a scent to go with it, what would it be?

“It would be a floral scent with top notes of gardenia and Jasmin with a twist of ocean air.”

The Mary Katrantzou ‘Mary-Mare’ resort wear capsule collection is available to purchase online now.