Saturday, 27 February 2010

Taking Two Negatives

How do you make a positive out of two negatives? You heap praise on Peter Pilotto's Spring 2010 collection, that's how.

It should be said that the two negatives in this case are Manchester and polyester.

I've nothing against Manchester, in fact i've fully appreciated its charm on a couple of occasions. However all this gal will get to see of it is the train station (Manchester Piccadilly for those detail lovers out there), and the hotel in Salford. The second component of my negative equation is the polyester, and oh my there will be tons of it, in all its staticy (this is a word, damnit) glory. You see I'll be spending a considerable amount of time at Old Trafford for a work 'do'. This means colleagues in 'smart-casual' attire, which as my fellow suited and booted corporate types will tell you, is a mine-field. Now, it has to be said that the fairer sex get an easier deal with smart - casual than our male counterparts, but oh boy, this is where previously slickly suited men go kerazy with the man made fibres. Hell, they don't have to wear a tie, they may not even need a jacket, and that my friends leads to a whole heap of bad, bad choices. Not to mention there will probably be some sort of terribly predictable football shirt theme, possibly as an 'ice-breaker' (shudder) - we are going to be at the home of one the world's biggest football clubs after all.

That's the bad news out the way, now onto the good: Peter Pilotto. He's been around for a while but he only really came to my attention when a bride-to-be friend of mine asked for an opinion on the viability of one of his dresses for her wedding dress. I don't mean the run of the mill 'meringue on the run' wedding dress by the way. No, my exceedingly stylish friend is working and it has to be said, fully owning, the post-modern, feminine cocktail dress for her nuptials.

I can see what drew her to Pilotto. He seems to be all about structure, tailoring and a simple, sleek silloutte, yet his cuts are more than that, intelligent and well, a little bit off centre. See example A from his Spring 2010 collection:

Obviously he's playing with asymmetric proportions, draping and structure, which are big themes for the next couple of seasons, but it's the way he's doing it that's so intriguing. I love the ruching on the torso panel, which juxtaposes the gentle diagonal pleating on the skirt. Not to mention you get a nod to the oversized hip/robotic look that's been a feature of Winter 2009. 

Now let's look at his colour palette.

Lovely isn't it? It's subtle, but interesting, the play on warm and cool colour combinations, along with the suggestion of texture dye finish, is really working for me. I love it. I've looked at this image many times over the past week or so and I still find it interesting. 

Final image and this time it's a triple whammy.

Admire the dresses people, for they are quite lovely. But then let's move the conversation right on to those boots. Oh my, are they a wader? Are they a ruched thigh high? Who the hell knows? Who the hell cares? I want them. Oh how I want them. They look comfy, they look warm (hello winter weather) and frankly, given I do not have the most gazelle like legs, they look damned flattering. A glimpse of thigh, made to look more svelte than it actually is, with the help of an oversize boot, before the eyes drift to the hemline of an otherwise no-go mini dress is a look that I want to be working. 

Sadly Pilotto didn't make the final cut for my friend's big day dress. The hemlines were just a little too brief for an occasion where elderly attendees will be in-situ. 

But, Marc Jacobs did.*

* Swoon. 

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