Following last spring’s groovy collection reflecting the South American landscape, design duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos headed east to Japan this season, though theirs was a soft-spoken, “alternate vision” of the country, and mostly of its tropical side.
Their field trip introduced them to Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangements, which translated into bold prints, something at which the designers are masters. Cue wild orchids, anemones, fronds and curling vines cascading from an array of mermaid silhouettes, column skirts and handkerchief dresses, which the duo deconstructed via asymmetric wrap elements and off-the shoulder slips. Some exits featured keyhole details built into curvy sleeves for visual fodder; others were gathered on the hip, creating sexy and sinuous, body-hugging looks. Among the standouts was a series of deliciously soft, silk-satin fusion dresses — half-kimono, half-négligée.
The lounge-y shapes transitioned into more athletic numbers, including jacquard joggers and tailored tracksuits, done up in rich, custom-made, satin-in-wool blends.
Rather cold, pastel hues dominated the feminine lineup, which perhaps wasn’t flattering to all skin tones — ladies with pale complexions will relate — but, as the designers explained backstage, they served a purpose. “We were really surprised by how hot it was in Okinawa,” Pilotto noted, which posed the duo with a minor problem: how to do tropical in a cool, toned-down way? The decorative, multicolored artwork of Peter McDonald, it turns out, came in handy. The English-Japanese painter’s influence was felt throughout.