It's easy to get overwhelmed looking at one Peter Pilotto piece. For instance, the dress Gwen Stefani showcases on the October cover of British Elle, or the one Emma Watson wore to the MTV Music Video Awards. It follows that watching a parade of these visually evocative creations can really challenge one's ability to take in and interpret fashion. Because this is the type of fashion that requires some interpretation.
Designers Christopher De Vos and Peter Pilotto pushed the envelope even further with their signature digital prints for the Spring 2013 season. They mixed the already rich visuals together to form prints-with-prints. The compositions came on complex textured fabrics and decorative elements like ruffles.
Silhouettes did not take a back seat. There were super slim pants and some fitted tops — Pilotto sometimes used activewear fabrics like mesh, but overall fabrics stood away from the body or took some voluminous form. Pencil skirts had slits and ruffles, New Look skirts veered towards pannier territory, the hooped petticoats favored by Marie Antoinette. Fluttery and flyaway sleeves kept top and bottom well proportioned.
The duo has said to Fashionista that they wanted to bring the elements they loved from the frescoes and the Pitti Palazzo in Florence to the collection. This gives the viewer a helpful frame of reference. You get the same overstimulating feeling trying to take in these graphic-heavy looks as you might trying to take in all the busy architectural elements of that region. And, like Roman-style palaces, you might need a guidebook.