The progress of Peter Pilotto is becoming a London phenomenon. Over the past few seasons, he and his partner, Christopher De Vos, have become known for digitally printing, cutting, and draping a steady series of subtly patterned dresses engineered so flatteringly to so many women's physiques that retailers just can't keep them in stock. Now, though, these designers are pushing themselves further. "We don't want to get categorized as cocktail-y print designers," Pilotto said. "So we're trying tailoring and more daywear."
They picked a brownish-orangey palette drawn from seventies interiors and then worked their way into all sorts of new categories and materials: coats, cut close to the body in printed Harris tweed; leather patchwork integrated into cardigans and skirts; tailored trousers; shirt-tunic-jacket hybrids; and here and there, outcrops of racoon. Amazingly—for a nascent business that is still housed in the shared studios of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise in the East End—it all held together with professional-looking aplomb. Meanwhile, they didn't neglect the signature Pilotto look, turning up the sophistication level by adding a flash of silver leather to a bodice and sliding in jersey panels to add shape. There were some great dresses, and prints, too—this time an amalgamation of photographic images of mercury splashes and Liberty florals and paisleys blended and faded out in an inimitable way on Pilotto's computer. Very well done.