Designer du Jour: Peter Pilotto, the Print Madness Duo

The name Peter Pilotto has been on my radar ever since Toby Meadows–consultant for Centre for Fashion Enterprises–told me two years ago that they’re really a force to be reckoned with in the London fashion scene. I looked them up and indeed they are, with the vibrancy of prints that the city is so full of  starting to dominate trends as we speak.

Peter Pilotto (the man in the photograph) is actually only half of the duo behind the eponymous label. The other half is made up of Christopher De Vos; the reason why the brand is named after Pilotto is because he started the label before De Vos joined, but they kept on using his name for the label. Both designers hail from the renowned Antwerp Royal Academy.

It wasn’t until I saw with my very own eyes the Peter Pilotto Fall 2013 collection at the Audi Fashion Festival, which is part of Singapore’s Asia Fashion Exchange. That event took place in May, and I was truly assured that this label should not be unnoticed. It was quite a statement to make a collection that screamed a Spanish influence right though, particularly inspiration gleaned from the work of Spanish artists during the Renaissance. The red lineup in particular was the most captivating of all for me, though I must admit that it seemed quite a grand approach with the juxtaposition of prints: very strong shapes and bold colors in comparison to the somber colors we’re more used to seeing in fall collections.

Did they do anything differently for the show in Singapore, since they showcased the collection the previous February? No they did not, but it was still a show to remember and worth the more or less two-hour wait that the guests of the day had to endure. It was truly a feast for the eyes! It was also surprising to we see Peter Pilotto himself take a bow at the end of the Audi Fashion Festival show, because it was so close to the scheduling of the label’s Resort 2014 that was due a month later. I imagine they would have been very busy preparing for that, but seeing how business for the label grew significantly in Singapore (items were stocked at Club 21), it was quite an opportunity for them to be present. I’ve also been noticing more and more Peter Pilotto pieces sold at those so-called “high-end” Instagram sellers, which truly signifies how big of a business Jakarta also is for the brand.

But what is really the recipe for success for the brand? It’s because Pilotto and De Vos have unparalleled talents in their respective expertise: Pilotto in prints and De Vos in creating shapes. They embrace both the timeless notion of elegance with a new take by instilling ethereal prints and sculptural shapes. Most important of all, the prints and shapes work perfectly together, just like how they did it again with their Resort 2014 collection.

The Resort 2014 collection that takes you to Japan through its glorious motifs. But never conventional, we don’t see the Japanese sakura or other traditional motifs. The collection depicts a stronger and darker take on the Japanese prints that we are familiar with, alongside glimpses of ikebana flowers and shapes inspired by the kimono.