The invite was a lenticular panel of pom-pom shaking cheerleaders. The setting was a perspex maze designed by Alexandre de Betak, built to feel like the inside of a giant computer from the ’70s. The scene was set for scintillation, and Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto delivered it in spades.
The designers — fresh off their recent Target collaboration — chose to focus on hybrid forms this season, introducing elements of summer to wintry pieces and giving formal pieces sporty finishes. “It was all about subtle adjustments and distortions to come up with something new,” said Pilotto backstage. “We started off with an idea of extreme summer sports — like climbing or mountain biking, and tried to introduce the elements of that sport into wintry pieces.”
So there were Airtex sweaters trimmed with fur, ultra-tight skinny turtlenecks resembling a cyclist’s Lycras, and coats with thick, sporty zippers and ribbed collars. The prints were inspired by the craggy mountains wherein these sports take place, and their crests were splashed across nipped-in pencil dresses, lilac kilt skirts and signature puffer jackets.
But despite the sporty intentions, the collection as a whole was utterly ladylike. The sweeping lengths we are seeing so much of at London Fashion Week were present and correct: a floor-grazing pencil skirt here, a ballooning ball skirt there. If the designers have their eyes on the red carpet prize, then those jewel-encrusted gowns and richly woven jacquard midi dresses will surely pave the way.