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August 31 2014

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9 posts tagged "Christopher De Vos"

Peter Pilotto Celebrates Success and Looks to the Future

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Christopher De Vos, Amber Le Bon, Anna Friel and Peter Pilotto

You know things are good when you throw a party to celebrate an award six months after the accolade was given—just because you are too busy working away. Such was the case with Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos of the label Peter Pilotto, who, along with John Demsey, group president of Estée Lauder Companies, hosted a fete to celebrate the designers’ January win of the 2014 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund—as well as their longstanding collaboration with MAC.

Held at Pilotto and De Vos’ new studio in East London on a rare sunny evening, the party attracted big names, many of whom were still hungover post-Serpentine gala. Amber Le Bon, Caroline Winberg, Tallulah Harlech, Elizabeth von Guttman, and Caroline Issa’s willingness to attend was a testament to the design duo’s pull.

The pair’s Target collaboration that launched in January (one of the rare high/low collaborations that was stocked by Net-a-Porter) was a triumph, with many pieces selling out within. Harlech in particular was fulsome in her praise. “Their detailed embroidery is pretty intense for me to look at—I once lingered in their archive, falling for all the pieces with incredible detail I’ve never seen up close.”

Naturally, winning the Fashion Fund honor has enabled Pilotto and De Vos to grow their brand. “Now we can make key hires and expand our team so we can carry on with our goal of reaching out to a wider global clientele. It has been an interesting road where we learned a lot along the way, so tonight’s dinner is our way of thanking a lot of people who have helped us get here,” offered De Vos. “After all, we came to London as outsiders, and the fashion community here really embraced us early on. We are humbled by the support,” Pilotto added.

Though the brand is best known for its vivacious prints, its journey to success, the designers admit, wasn’t always easy. “People can be very emotional when it comes to print: It can divide a lot of opinions,” said Pilotto. “But we always felt compelled to follow our instincts, and critically, look at shape and structure as much as fabric. We are as much engineers as we are print people.” So what’s next up for the duo? “Our team is five times bigger than when we started, so now we are in the thinking and planning stages to expand the collection to include swimwear and more accessories,” revealed De Vos. “It is a really exciting time for us right now.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo

The Split-Second Preview: Peter Pilotto

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The Fall ’14 Ready-to-Wear collections are under way in London, and will be followed by the shows in Milan and Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.

peter pilotto

WHO: Peter Pilotto, designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos

WHERE: London

WHEN: Monday, February 17

WHAT: “Frozen, mavericks, waves.” —Peter Pilotto. The designer sent us a Fall ’14 inspiration image, above.

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos Talk Target

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Jourdan Dunn

London-based label Peter Pilotto, made up of Pilotto and best friend Christopher De Vos, is known for its kaleidoscopic, futuristic, printed looks. The pair’s work is intensely intricate and, quite often, computer engineered. On February 9, they’ll follow in the footsteps of designers like Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung when they bring their neon-hued, digi-printed womenswear to the masses via a hotly anticipated collaboration with Target. The beachy seventy-piece capsule comprises trapezoidal-cut swimwear; some very boardwalk-to-street Vans-style trainers; lots of feminine, floral-layered hoop skirts; and some rash-guard-inspired separates. The range, which is priced between $14.99 and $79.99, will be the first of Target’s designer collaborations to be sold on Net-a-Porter—a testament to the quality of the work. Also a testament to the collection? Its campaign cast—not just anybody can get Jessica Stam and Jourdan Dunn to strike a pose. The latter’s ad (above), as well as a behind-the-scenes video (below), debut exclusively here.

We sat down with Pilotto and De Vos to discuss the origins of the Target project; how they translated their detailed, techy designs within the constraints of a mass price-point; and why, at the end of the day, it’s all about the color.

How did Target approach you?
Peter Pilotto: Somebody set up the meeting, and we were like, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ We always knew about Target, obviously. We didn’t have to think much. When they asked us if we really wanted to do it, we were like, “Yeah, sure!” And the whole process was extremely pleasant. They gave us the freedom to do what we liked.

Christopher De Vos: We’re excited that, with this collaboration, we can reach a whole new audience.

PP: And we hope to reach a big audience age-wise, too—from the 15-year-old girl to the 75-year-old woman.

What was the concept behind the collection? And did you find it difficult to translate your vision to fit within the Target price point?
PP: The swimwear was the starting point. We wanted something very signature to our brand but translated in a different way—something very energetic, joyful, summery, and vibrant. We liked the idea so much that you could have a swimwear look and a skirt, and you could build up your look from beach to street.

CDV: We made almost like a rash guard, and you can wear it with a swimsuit and take off your skirt and wear it to the beach. That was the whole idea. We also analyzed our color combinations and how we could translate those. Obviously, there were limitations because of price point, but I think those limitations pushed us to do new things. And while we had to rethink our usual fabrications, we feel it’s very us.

PP: And it was exciting to work in a different way within the systems that were right for Target. We couldn’t do the engineered print that we’re used to doing, so instead, we used seams and worked on layered versions of all of our prints. I guess the collaboration was the highest amount of prints they ever did. I think often, it’s especially stimulating when you have constraints.

The palette is very in tune with what you usually send down the runway.
CDV: I think if we weren’t based in London, we’d do everything in black. But because the weather’s so gray, we’re longing for something colorful.

There is so much color coming out of London, despite all the fog.
PP: It’s very inspiring. And East London, where all the designers are based, all the artists, everybody—it’s a really good spot because of the interesting, the mix of people.

CDV: We feel like we live in a village.

Can you tell us what you have planned for Fall ’14?
PP: I think with our Spring ’14 collection, we wanted to translate our signature ideas in new ways, so we did a lot of lace and embroidery. While we’re known for the print, there is actually so much more now that we’re busy with besides the print that we love to do. It’s all about the desire for color that we try to express in different ways. Last season, we worked with lace that was engineered like the print was in the past—there were color layouts that were made in the lace, layered with print underneath. We want to explore that further, and push those techniques for Fall.

When you’re conceptualizing a collection, where do you normally begin? With this Target collaboration, you were talking about the swimwear. But is it color? Is it silhouette?
CDV: It always starts with colors. Then it’s a constant dialogue. We work together. We make every decision together. And it’s a journey through the seasons.

Photo: Courtesy of Target

Target Keeps the Collabs Coming

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Peter Pilotto Spring '14Hot on the heels of releasing its much-touted collaboration with Phillip Lim, Target has announced today that it’s crossing the pond for its next team-up, tapping print-meisters Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos (the designers behind British label Peter Pilotto) to design a limited-edition Spring ’14 range. The label, which sent its main Spring ’14 collection down the catwalk at London fashion week today (left), will turn out Target wares that ring in under $60. This collaboration also marks the first time Target has partnered with Net-a-porter, who will sell a selection of the Peter Pilotto x Target pieces on its website. Will this lineup—set to hit stores in February—inspire the same frenzy as Lim’s Fall offering? Stay tuned…

Photo: Yannis Vlamos/ IndigitalImages.com

Pilotto At The Palazzo

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The more you look at a Peter Pilotto print, the less you understand it. That’s got to be at least part of the charm and the appeal of Pilotto and Christopher De Vos’ print-mad label, which showed its Resort collection here in Florence as the invited guests of Pitti W last night. Their venue was the thirteenth-century Palazzo Borghese, one of those incredible, noble residences that barely attract everday notice, as if they weren’t in short supply. (In fairness, here, they aren’t.) The clash of the august setting with Pilotto and De Vos’ ultramodern prints was, of course, intentional. It was one they played up by using the event to take visitors, all 2 million of them, it seemed, crammed into the sweltering manse, behind the curtain. Their prints come courtesy of the London creative director and tech wiz Jonny Lu, who created a sort of Photoshop algorithm to gin them up. “It’s like a digital kaleidoscope,” De Vos said last night. “It’s very dramatic,” Pilotto chimed in. “I don’t understand how it actually works. It’s all coded, like dot-dot-dot-dot.” The Resort prints come from the program, which is actually a generator that evolved new ones, on giant screens, as the night went on. They not only took over digital monitors but the interiors of the palazzo, too. Back splashes, walls, and rugs were done over in the angular, wild-colored designs, which gave the designers a few thoughts on possible expansion routes. “We are so excited about this idea as well,” Pilotto said of the decor. “It opens up so many possibilities: for interiors, dishes…” As models in the Resort collection stood in the grand ballroom and made slow loops, it made you dream of a world where Pilotto wasn’t only a dress-maker, but a world-creator. The palazzo, hot as it was, certainly made an appealing case study, for the designers as much as their fans. “We’re so spoiled,” Pilotto said. “We’ve been in this palazzo for three days.”

Photos: Giovanni Giannoni