9 posts tagged "Pitti W"
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.”
Pitti Immagine, the organization that presents the seasonal Pitti Uomo and Pitti W fairs in Florence, convened a group of editors and buyers in Soho today to announce the specifics of this summer’s edition of the fair, which will include, for the first time, a new online component, called ePitti. Several brands will celebrate anniversaries and new debuts at the fair, including the Italian label Lubiam (which will mark its centennial), Pringle of Scotland (which will present a re-edition of iconic archival items, in collaboration with Central Saint Martins), Carhartt, and Victorinox, which will show its Remade in Switzerland collection by English designer Christopher Raeburn.
But exciting the most interest were the fair’s guest designers, both in from California for the occasion. Scott Sternberg will be the guest at Pitti Uomo, where he’ll show Band of Outsiders’ Spring ’12 menswear collection, as well as the Resort ’12 women’s collections by Boy and Girl. “We’re showing at a venue called Manifattura Tabacchi. It’s an old, abandoned tobacco factory,” he revealed. “It’s amazing. It’s huge; it feels kind of like this mini city when you’re in there.” Details were few but he did explain that all three lines will be shown together, as with his Fall ’11 runway show. “We’re always telling a story, and there are usually acts that happen in that story,” he said, “so it’ll all be in the same show, but clearly delineated, one from the next.” Given the parallel to Fall, we had to ask: Would there be looks parachuting in from above? “There will be no rappellers, there will be no one falling from the ceiling,” he promised. He promised this, too: The men’s show won’t appear again in New York in September. “Absolutely not,” he said. “This is your one chance to see Band Spring ’12.”
Kate and Laura Mulleavy were similarly tight-lipped about specifics but did profess a great love for the city of Florence. “There are very few places that you feel are these artistic centers—Florence and Kyoto are the two that really come to your mind,” Kate said. “It’s just unparalleled, the amount of creativity and art that exists in a place like Florence. It’s almost indescribable…It’s also about a connection to a place. A lot of what you’re seeing is frescos, which belong to the environment; you can’t go see a fresco here, you can’t move it. It’s really fascinating. When you talk about Florence, you’re talking about things that you have to be there to see and experience, that are so intertwined in the environment, which has always been an interest for Laura and me in terms of our own design and thought process. Trying to understand the landscape that we live in and that history.”
The collection that they’ll show, they were quick to note, won’t be a traditional pre-collection; it’ll be exclusive to Pitti. That’s not to say it might not one day hit stores. “It can be [sold], yes, to certain stores,” Laura clarified. “We’re figuring out what we want to do to keep it special and do something interesting with it on a retail level.”
Florence is going all-American this June. Pitti Immagine, which sponsors the seasonal Pitti Uomo and Pitti W fairs, will host two California-based designers as its guests: Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders for the men’s fair, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte for the women’s. According to Pitti’s Lapo Cianchi, the local connection between the two is no accident. “Rodarte and Band of Outsiders are two very different design talents,” Cianchi says, “but they both connect us to the mythology of Western America: Los Angeles, where all three designers live and work; film, which they are obviously interested in; and the expanses of the interstate highway that runs through California or heads into the desert of Nevada. The European curiosity about California culture and the landscape played an important role in Pitti’s decision to invite both designers to Florence at the same time.”
Rodarte joins a roster of past Pitti W guest designers that includes Gareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann, and Giambattista Valli; Band of Outsiders follows Trussardi 1911, Corneliani, and Adam Kimmel.
Above: Fall 2011 looks from Rodarte (left) and Band of Outsiders (right).