In the ‘Victorian’ collection for Villeroy & Boch, the Greek fashion designer draws inspiration from postage stamps and butterfly collecting
Words by Francesca Perry
Mary Katrantzou, the acclaimed Greek fashion designer who has been dubbed ‘the queen of print’, has designed her first tile collection, for German brand Villeroy & Boch. Titled Victorian, the ceramic tile range features colourful butterflies on postage stamp-like backgrounds, mixed with monochrome geometric shapes.
The range was inspired by a number of Katrantzou’s fashion collections from the last decade: her Spring/Summer 2013 collection celebrated postage stamps (which she calls ‘relics of a different era’), her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection explored Victorian interiors and ornamentation, and her 10th anniversary collection in 2019 focused on the art of collecting, including butterflies. The Victorian tile range, then, aims to blend a kind of 19th-century nostalgia with bold, contemporary graphic patterns.
Though recognised for her global fashion label – worn by prominent public figures from Beyoncé to Michelle Obama – Katrantzou in fact began by studying architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, before moving to study fashion and textiles at Central Saint Martins in London. She has become known for her adoption and mastery of digital printing; she mixes and digitally collages images and patterns in her designs, often in a colourful, maximalist style which celebrates the decorative arts and opulent aesthetics.
Although Katrantzou has developed a small homeware range under her own brand – including print-adorned cushion covers and crockery – this is the first time she has collaborated with an external partner on an interiors project. Furthermore, it is the first fashion collaboration for Villeroy & Boch since 1997, when it partnered with the late Kenzo Takada of Kenzo.
‘These designs form part of an individual’s home, where they surround themselves with things they love, creating a feeling of permanence that’s very different to the very nature of fashion,’ Katrantzou says. ‘This collaboration allowed me to look at patterns outside the female figure and be guided instead by the power of interiors to create an extension of one’s aesthetic.’
Photography courtesy of V&B Fliesen
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