LONDON, United Kingdom — Following last season’s dinner-cum-catwalk experience, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos once again showed their colourful and graphic-heavy eveningwear in a non-traditional runway location.
This time around the duo took attendees to Californian, Polynesian-themed bar and restaurant chain Trader Vic’s sitting under the Hilton Hotel in London’s Mayfair.
Below the intimate room’s low-hanging, bamboo foundation and dimmed red lighting, champagne, festive cocktails and fresh fruit were served to industry editors, society women and art collectors, projecting a false illusion that summer didn’t have to end.
“There’s this thing about creating an atmosphere and showing a context where the clothes should live that really excites us,” said Pilotto after his resortwear-heavy show.
For Spring/Summer, the duo took a culture-clashing holiday around the world. Showed in hues of periwinkle, fuchsia, melon, peach and chartreuse, there were silk shirt-dresses with Victorian collars, Caribbean wrap-on bandeaux, paisley-printed off-the-shoulder tops paired with matching trousers, Moroccan fez hats, Amazon-leaved, fluorescent trench coats with crystal detailing, and plenty of Chinoiseries in the form of iridescent organza modest-dresses and skirts decorated with metallic-painted jacquard and poppy-flower appliqué. It looked surprisingly luxe.
It made sense given the background of the brand’s founders, which recurrently serves as the starting point of their collections. Pilotto is half Austrian, half Italian, while de Vos grew up between South America and the Middle East with Belgian and Peruvian parents.
“Our friends are from all over the world, so it really reflects what we’re interested in. This collection brought things together,” said Pilotto, who this season was inspired by prints and colours of antiques, artworks and especially festive Viennese glasses used in the early 1900s signifying the era’s decadence.
They were best translated into the many accessories — pearl-beaded, globe-shaped clutches filled with oranges, lemons and limes; satin, ombre evening bags embellished with crystals; and art-nouveau statement earrings, all of which were a standout this season and will be a hit among the brand’s loyal clientele.
Pilotto and de Vos know their customer well and are giving them exactly what they want. Expanding their universe with commercial daywear and accessories will prove a smart move and add to their allure.