February 23, 2009 London
Pilotto is one of those whose thoughts have turned, this season, to the massive, fundamental events of natural history (maybe because it shrinks our current human anxieties to a minuscule blip). He and his partner, Christopher De Vos, an ex-Vivienne Westwood designer, say they've been working around "the awe and wonder of the big bang theory, an optimistic new beginning." Pilotto developed the prints and textures (stripes derived from digital manipulation of photos of fur and reptile skin), built up silk tufted tops tipped with paint to mimic "an erupting volcano," and created chunky embroidery from geometric plastic paillettes. De Vos, whose responsibility is shape, worked out variations on the internal-draping tricks he's made his signature, and oversaw the development of the hourglass camel coat that was the best piece of tailoring on their runway. This will doubtless be the season when Pilotto and De Vos (who met at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2000) break through from the early adopters to a more mainstream crowd.