Whether you're getting tired of London's devotion to print or not, you have to admit - the loyalty is admirable. After all, we kick-started this print-mania that's taken over fashion land and damn it if we go teetotal now! One other factor that helps elevate designers like Peter Pilotto above others: they're simply so much better at it than the rest. While other cities try to catch-up, London - and Peter Pilotto - use print dreamily and abundantly.
Take the collection they showed this morning. Florentine frescoes were referenced but so was the designers' recent trip to Kolkata. The opening look was as restrained as a Peter Pilotto look could possibly be. A black and white printed sleeveless blouse with a cute patent white collar and a slim skirt that revealed a lot of leg and, more importantly, what was to follow. The small frill at the hem would appear again and again before exploding, larger and with more kick. So did the prints because that 'simple' black and white did not stay for long. They became brighter and more intricate and while recognisable PP regulars were there, the criss-crossing panels on the bust and the second-skin shell tops this felt like a progression rather than a stale offering of more of the same.
The frills were the new, most regularly as little peplums on tops and again on the hems of dresses and edging bell sleeves but they were most impressive when cascading down the front of skirts, revealing a contrasting neon green. The embroidery was exquisite too, influenced by that Indian journey. It's tempting to envision these two on train, customised leather trunks in tow, on the Darjeeling Ltd speeding through the Indian countryside but the final effect was more subtle than that. Traditional Indian beadwork was worked in a very now 3D manner and the small mirror embellishment of the finale dresses was particularly strong. This being India, the colour palette was out of this world; vivid sunset oranges and bright blues. A red scarf print roll neck top teamed with a slim skirt stood out, the sleeves stopping midway on the arm - very couture.
And here was the thing: when modern couture is now mentioned the mind races to a certain Mr Simons busy rejuvenating Dior. If the gowns, in all their full-skirted glory, brought to mind Raf Simon's debut couture collection at Dior, or in fact his last ready-to-wear for Jil Sander (that delicate bust of a New Look dress, the pockets) that's ok. We're seeing a lot of that this season and that's the effect an outlier like Simons has - and rightly so. Ideas travel and Peter Pilotto jumped on that train and threw their own little party. And gorgeous it was too.