Last night saw the Peter Pilotto presentation and installation at the regal Palazzo Borghese. Guests were greeted with an incredible feast, evoking a sense of renaissance Italian luxury, where rival families - the Medicis, the Pazzis and the Salviatis - sought to prove their worth and flaunt their wares. Very apt then! The mixture of swelling crowd and sweltering heat may have slightly undermined the evening's elegant, luxurious theme - but despite the sauna-like conditions (poor models!), the duo's collection still shone. Well how could it have not done?
Their signature eye-popping colours and nifty 3D prints were supported by rooms carpeted, upholstered and generally adorned with Pilotto visuals – a real print explosion.
The innovation in this collection came from the set up. The duo told me during the presentation that they'd enjoyed being able to show the 'process' behind their work. They were referring to the large screens on display showing a hypnotizing print generator created by art director Jonny Lu. Dubbed 'a digital kaleidoscope', the technology forms the basis for the majority of the duo's fabric prints - this season shown in two different camps, one angular and geometric, the other softer and swirling, inspired by illuminated manuscripts of the sixteenth century and incorporating celtic and medieval motifs.
Aside from the unique mode of presentation the meat and bones of this collection was largely business as usual. The duo's interest in beading and embroidery hung over from last season, and their focus on commercial wearable pieces continued. The pair opted for a savvy selection of shapes - from itsy bitsy minis for their younger shoppers to smart shirts for their working-woman - ensuring that no customer base would go untapped. A real highlight was a sweet Prada-esque drop-waisted kilt dress.
In such a theatrical setting, when surrounded by ancient painted ceilings - the history of the Palazzo Borghese dates back to 1400 - oversized chandeliers and headache-inducing printed carpets and hangings it would be easy to call this collection fussy or overdone. But strip away the drama and what you have here is a series of impeccably designed individual pieces that will cement Peter Pilotto's status as the brand that real women will always want to wear.