Designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have made an impression on the global fashion scene with their knack for kaleidoscopic print, and this season their sense for color tended towards a particularly vibrant palette. With a highly anticipated biopic of Jimi Hendrix out in theaters later this month, the wave of late sixties and early seventies style that started building in New York is now rolling onto runways in London. Backstage after the show, Pilotto and De Vos cited Hendrix amongst many of the things pinned to their mood board for the season, including psych-rock poster art and flower children.
That’s not to say that those references were translated literally here; in fact, the new collection was quite the opposite of retro. Psychedelic A-line dresses that were cut from organza and bonded with silk were sprinkled with handfuls of glossy silicon crystals that glowed like candy imported from another galaxy. “Yes, we’re known for our prints, but we’re always trying to push the idea of pattern a step further,” said Pilotto. “The idea was to take some of the handcraft familiar to that era to a new place.” Those with a soft spot for seventies suede patchwork coats and crochet might have seen echoes in a holographic pink pastel coat, and yet the 3-D Perspex flowers that dotted the hemline spoke to a generation of stylish women born into the digital age, not the Summer of Love. Even the denim pieces in the collection were stripped of their classic blue-jean identity, reimagined with pop color and sleek neon embellishment. It’s a look that works particularly well in an era when most of us do our shopping through the high-def filter of our computer screens and smartphones. For those who do remember a time when young people roamed barefoot and carefree through festival fields, the flat rubber-soled sandals that grounded the collection will serve as a comfortable alternative on modern urban terrain.