The Spanish Golden Age refracted and re-imagined by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.
The fashion world's obsession with The Print may have already reached its zenith as clean lines and pared-back elegance come to the fore. As a brand that carved out its initial reputation on The Print, Peter Pilotto might have found itself on the back foot.
But Chris de Vos and Peter Pilotto are far too accomplished for that, and the collection they showed today was a perfect procession of ideas, technicalities, fabrications and clothes we want to wear. The prints were intrinsic but by no means the raisin d'être.
Their starting point this season? El Greco, that ecstatic religious painter from 17th century Spain. The hallucinogenic colours of his canvasses were splashed onto coats and dresses - pillar box red, mustard yellow and the the kind of turquoise that might have lit up the hermit painter's annunciation skies.
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'We wanted to take something that was so opulent and classical, but to cast it in a futuristic light,' Pilotto told us backstage, which explained the spacey lurex underlayers, and the armour-like panels bound
together by white rugby ball stitching.
Opulent and classical were the beautiful and boxy coats, enriched with embroidery on the deep pockets and decadently swinging from the shoulder blades. The underlying Spanish theme was subtly continued in a line of cropped boleros with a distinctly matador-like shape, and a luxurious embroidered cape that could have been plucked out of a colonial Spanish film.
But fabulous dresses are this duo's bread and butter, and they were as contoured, cut-out and covetable as ever. 'We wanted to be more expressive and playful with our dresses this season, to experiment with embellishment and embroidery but still within that very feminine shape that we love,' explained Pilotto. So there were playful flippy skirts, cocktail dresses dripping with jewels and a riot of colours to counteract that strict panelled shape that the designers are known and loved for.
'When you aren't focusing on the print you need to make sure that you have excellent texture, excellent cut and excellent fabrications,' said the show's stylist Charlotte Stockdale, 'and these guys have got all that going for them, and them some.'
That's the kind of ecstasy El Greco would be proud of.
See all the catwalk looks