Viewing this collection made me feel like I was experiencing the various townships represented in The Wizard of Oz (1939). I watched the film for the first time with my boyfriend a few weeks ago and was so entranced by the costume designs and how they relate to fashion today. Of course Hamish was totally confused about why I was getting so worked up about it and how I could consider those clothes wearable but he's definitely not into fashion but has forged an identity through the clothes he wears. (To our friends he is easily identifiable and basically wears the same outfit all year round). Given that Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion only visited a few townships within this universe it's entirely feasible that somewhere, a town exclusively inhabited by women exists and they dress with impeccable taste. I can only hope they wear Nicholas Kirkwood shoes embellished with what reminds me of Jacks (or Knucklebones if you prefer) and wonderfully decorated sweaters and coats. Join me on a journey of discovery within the Peter Pilotto world with pop culture references abound.
Despite the wonderful shoes and the numerous colorways Nicholas Kirkwood created especially for this runway collection, style.com has not featured any closeups of the shoes and I feel so vexed about this. It's no secret that I am a huge Nicholas Kirkwood fan owning three pairs of his shoes (one Meadham Kirchhoff collaboration and one Rodarte) and a pair of Sophia Webster slides (former design assistant to Nicholas Kirkwood). Each shoe is like a piece of artwork and beautifully made- hence why I feel so frustrated there aren't many photographs of them from this runway show online. Before I continue to vent my frustration I should note that Peter Pilotto has collaborated with Nicholas Kirkwood for a number of seasons but this might be my favorite range of heels and boots to date. The introduction of gel or strange shapes always injects a kind of nostalgia, usually springing forth memories of the early 2000s but in this case the 1970s tone is irrefutable. The colors, strange geometric shapes and sporadic suede heels all lead me to the conclusion that while both identities exist within this collection the seventies is stronger.
The star of the show was definitely the fabulous and eccentric knitwear featuring designs akin to weird circuit board motifs or the alien crop circles. Even with the simple use of a few lines, colours and shapes on a plain white background I can conjure up multiple interpretations of the same design. It was definitely more intellectually stimulating than watching various 1970s inspired looks float down the runway (I mean Stevie Nicks is great and we should all aim to be like her but there's only so much suede and black sheer I can take- ya know?) Seeing so many abstract figures forced me to think about how they relate to my life or figures I knew from television and film. There was room for interpretation as well as substance behind motivating Pilotto during the creation of this collection which is always more compelling than predicting what will be the next biggest trend. I'm more concerned with which characters are brave enough to create the collection they want to as well as personal development through personal style.
The other thing these colours and shapes remind me of are the attractions at Disneyland and to a greater extent Mary Blair's animation style. She was the art director of Peter Pan, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, as well as the mastermind who orchestrated "It's a Small World" with scenes designed by Marc Davis and costuming by his wife Alice Davis. Wrap skirts which seem oddly familiar yet untraceable in origin echo this sentiment of a global citizen or alien figure who exists somewhere outside of time itself. Tavi Gevinson said something along these lines about Creatures of the Wind many years ago but I think the same can be said for Peter Pilotto. Things seem both old and new at the same time like a caricature of space travel or special effects from a movie made several decades ago. What is certain that although these shapes are readily familiar there isn't anything else like it available on the market which makes Pilotto so incredibly exciting as a figure in the fashion industry.