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Show Report

Show Report: Peter Pilotto A/W 16 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 22 February 2016

Lucy Norris reports on the Peter Pilotto A/W 16 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Peter Pilotto A/W 16 womenswear show.

It's been a few seasons since the design duo at Peter Pilotto left the world of digital prints. Today they set sail for another universe. This totally makes sense, as nowadays fashion is all about fabrics - and so was this collection. Just as Missoni and Emilio Pucci made a strategic move to release themselves from the respective category of knitwear and print, Peter Pilotto & Christopher Vos prove that it is possible to do print without doing print. Their collection was adorned with patterns and motifs - one might be mistakenly in the habit of referring to their creative output as still being print. But it isn’t. They are now translating their aesthetic via the mediums of appliqués, trims, knits and surface detailing.

That said, the one print that was present was a good one.  It arrived in the guise of a bespoke gouache splashed coat, created in collaboration with the British artist Caragh Thuring. Contrast piped liquid satin pants opened the show, as an entourage of haberdashery delights followed.

A show production, which featured a Synth-ey stuttering sound track and mirrored walls, created the mood of an eighties inflected sci fi mise en scene - whilst references for the clothes arrived from the seventies love for the folkloric.  The entire collection was about a long line, with midi dresses and skirts featuring throughout. Oversized jacquard car coats were layered over appliqué lurex dresses traced in metallic guipure lace, which added extra sparkle.

The show notes talked about glacial climes and frosty Nordic symbolism. There was definitely a mystical, fairytale vibe that also felt intergalactic and otherworldly. Girls had necklaces worn in their hair, the design house's latest jewellery collaboration with Swarovski. The exposed, cut out shoulder on draped blouses or dresses returned from the runways of last season - when Erdem and Proenza Schouler focused on making this an erogenous zone. Glittery stitched checked dresses reminded one of David Bowie's Pierrot - well his arch enemy, Harlequin, anyway.

The make do and mend vibe went up a notch with knitted ruffles, patchwork tartans, crinkled lurex and rising sun quilted motifs. There was also a slight Soviet or Mother Russia vibe to the collection, with long faux fur coats with metallic frogging and graphic intarsia knits. Just over the border, Russia’s cultural influence within Nordic culture – and hence, these designs – is a logical one. Tracking Peter Pilotto’s location within fashion, we see it appear from out of the tundra – and back into the arms of relevance. Its silhouettes are loosening up, and its colour palette of off pastels and brown, burgundy and blues feels more interesting too. This collection put them back on the map.

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