Source: The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe

Practitioner: Mary Katrantzou

The practitioner we selected was Greek fashion designer Mary Katranzou born in 1983 (aged 32). She went to both the Rhode Island School of Design and Central Saint Martins and currently lives in London. Her collections are recognizable by their bright, outstanding prints varying from representations of luxurious rooms/interiors to nature's landscapes and flowers/trees. 

Source: The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe

Source: The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe

Source: New on the Catwalk: emerging fashion labels, Patrice Farameh

Water Scarcity Fact Sheet

"Water Facts About Humans

1. The human brain is comprised of about 75 percent water. [1]
2. 200 million hours per day are consumed by women collecting water for their families. [2]
3. In many African countries, less than half of the population has access to clean water. [3]
5. Water acts as an internal air conditioner, regulating our temperature through sweat and respiration. [5]
6. Water helps distribute essential nutrients to cells within our bodies and removes waste products like toxins that the organs reject. [6]
8. Water helps lubricate your joints. [8]
9. If you include drinking water, sanitation and food production, it takes about 12 gallons per day to sustain the average human. [9]"


Method: Writing

Writing has been around for centuries, from ancient-day hieroglyphics to modern alphabets. Writing can essentially be seen as language and speech depicted graphically, initially for functional purposes. "The earliest writing was based on pictograms. Pictograms were used to communicate basic information about crops and taxes." (Source:

Alphabets of the World:

Ideas Factory Further Research

The Kimono

"Typically made from silk, kimonos are the traditional dress of men and women in Japan, although kimonos are often worn only for special occasions these days.

Kimonos are made from long pieces of fabric, usually sewn by hand along straight seams, with a collar attached to give a clean shape around the neck."

Chirimen (Silk Crepe)

"Cranes: Cranes in Japanese textiles generally represent longevity and good fortune. They are most closely associated with Japanese New Year and wedding ceremonies – for example the crane is often woven into a wedding kimono or obi."

Water plays a huge part in the Japanese culture and in life as the country is an island and many beautiful landscapes from Japan involve water. Sea food is equally a huge part of daily Japanese life and connects directly with water as well. Japanese-style gardens also may feature small streams/fountains. 

Research Task 1


As previously, we were assigned to (in our groups) select a practitioner, method and material from a much larger list than the first. My group and I selected: Practitioner - Mary Katrantzou; Material - Water; and Method - Writing. 

From this we followed our library induction and research upon each subject. 

Above: "designer Mary Katrantzou (centre) with models wearing her digital designs" (The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe) 

Source: The Fashion Swatch Book, Marnie Fogg

Source: New on the Catwalk: emerging fashion labels, Patrice Farameh

"...[Kantranzou] became interested in the way that printed textiles can change the shape of a woman’s body..."


Material: Water

Water is a clear liquid made of H2O molecules.  

Water Quality

"Water Facts About the Earth

11. Nearly 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water is trapped in glaciers. [11]
12. The atmosphere contains more water than in all of the rivers on earth combined. [12]
13. The water in the earth’s lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and swamps only accounts for less than one percent of the world’s fresh water. [13]
14. There is something like 326 trillion gallons of water on earth. [14]
15. Of the two percent of fresh water contained on the earth, about 1.6 percent of that is in polar ice caps and glaciers and another 0.36 percent is underground in aquifers and wells. [15]
16. The oldest pocket of water ever found was 2.6 billion years old, discovered in a mine two miles below earth’s surface. [16]
19. The water you drink from your faucet could potentially contain molecules that dinosaurs and Neanderthals drank. [19]
20. The High Plains Aquifer, located beneath the Great Plains in the U.S., covers eight states and 174,000 miles. [20]

Bonus fact: Water is earth’s only substance that is found naturally in three forms – solid, liquid and gas."


"Most early writing systems begin with small images used as words, literally depicting the thing in question. But pictograms of this kind are limited. Some physical objects are too difficult to depict. And many words are concepts rather than objects.

There are several ways in which early writing evolves beyond the pictorial stage. One is by combining pictures to suggest a concept. Another is by a form of pun, in which a pictorial version of one object is modified to suggest another quite different object which sounds the same when spoken."

Source: :

Research Synthesis

Moving forward from my research into Mary Katrantzou, Water and Writing I then came up with a large variety of projects/products/ideas relating to the latter. While the three are seemingly completely disconnected, each element branches off into a variety of different things. For example when thinking of water one could also think of it as a life necessity, the ocean (and abysses), marine life, water scarcity, etc. Writing branches off to literature, stories, calligraphy, branding, and so on. Mary Katrantzou's works make me think of interiors, lampshades, embroidery, bright patterns. 

From over 30 different ideas sprung from the connection of these three elements I decided to work on a collection of Japanese kimono-style clothing pieces. I therefore did a bit more research on these three topics, but gearing it towards Japan. 

There are many different types of kimono depending upon the person (i.e. a maiko has different dress to a geiko (geisha)) or occasion (marriage, holidays/festivals, the birth of a child). Kimonos (strictly speaking) are usually thicker, much more traditional and more expensive garments, however other kimono-like clothing pieces exist such as the yukata.  

"A yukata is a Japanese garment, a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and unlined. Yukata are worn by men and women. Like other forms of traditional Japanese clothing, yukata are made with straight seams and wide sleeves." (

Further information: 

Japanese Symbology

"Symbols are a large part of Japanese culture. Designs on kimono, including family crests, are often crucial to understanding the occasion where the garment would have been worn, by whom and at what time of the year.

Butterflies: The Japanese view butterflies as souls of the living and the dead. They are considered symbols of joy and longevity. 

Carp: Primarily a symbol of perseverance, the carp (koi) is also evocative of faithfulness in marriage and general good fortune.

Cherry Blossoms: From the Heian Period (794 - 1185) on, the cherry blossom has been revered by Japanese. The flower’s brief blooming time and the fragility of its blossoms, has led to an association with the transience of life. "


Itsukushima Shrine

Source: The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe

Source: The Print Revolution: groundbreaking textile design in the digital age, Tamasin Doe

Source: New on the Catwalk: emerging fashion labels, Patrice Farameh

Above designs by Mary Katrantzou made me think of Japan due to the prints


Water for Food

Water, John Knechtel

Alphabets of the World:

Seen above: an example of Japanese calligraphy used in an amulet/to bring luck and fortune. This one is for healing and employment.

Types of Kimono

Mary Katrantzou

Katrantzou's pieces shown above as well as some of her other very colourful prints reminded me a lot of scenery and elements/shapes from Japan and Japanese culture. 

Fall 2013 Collection


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