The Prints Charming puns are already stale, but fall 2014 was ample proof that Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have a winning way with pattern. There were plenty to show within this collection — meandering new-wave zig-zags, molten geological forms, and an optically illusory floral created out of tessellating bodies — often combined within the same look. Pilotto and Vos have a healthy disregard for minimalism, but then there was a celebratory atmosphere in the mirrored environs of the Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. The holographic invite featured a cheerleader shaking her pompoms; the show will inspire editors to do likewise.
Shapes, unsurprisingly, played second fiddle to the prints, but dresses and separates had a sleek, origami-esque quality, asymmetric necklines and slit legs giving the impression of strips of fabric haphazardly bandaged about the body. A quilted jacket was printed with what looked like a textured check, but was actually a pattern of tiny sailors and the aforementioned cheerleaders — a detail sure to have buyers digging deep, as are luxurious fur-lined funnel neck sweaters. Occasionally overpowering in their profusion, these pieces have the potential to be hugely desirable, as their savvy high street collaborators at Target have realized. Cocktail dresses rendered almost crunchy with embellishments will no doubt ensure the label’s presence on finer red carpets will not abate.
It’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago, print was considered the poor relation of design. But the vanguard — led by Basso and Brooke, Mary Katrantzou, and Peter Pilotto — has made it something London is renowned for. Anarchic and contrary, perhaps, but more and more it sets the worldwide agenda.