While Christopher Bailey (Burberry) is apparently trying to freeze his clients, Peter Pilotto and partner Christopher De Vos are going exactly the opposite direction. If anything, their clients may be at risk of suffocation from the furry neck muffs that come half-way up one’s face. For the first several looks, Pilotto has his models so heavily covered that one might have to spend some serious weight-lifting time in the gym to establish enough strength just to carry the heft of the material.

Peter Pilotto is winner of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and has very much become the darling of the insider fashion scene here in London. With Mary Katrantzou having ditched her digital prints for a darker look this season, Pilotto may be the only major designer left here who really understands the thought process behind the careful placement of digital prints in clothing. More than just slapping a picture on a dress, Pilotto understands that care must be taken to make sure those prints are actually wearable by more than one person.

That being said, this collection is so full of illusion and contrasting patterns that it is practically impossible for me to describe it to you now. Pilotto and De Vos are masters of creating illusion with their clothes, to the point that more than once today I wanted to stop the model for a few seconds to study just exactly what I was looking at. Stopping them would have created another disaster, though, as models wound through a mirrored maze of a catwalk that had them crossing back and forth so often that it is a wonder we made it through the show without a collision. All this just added to the wonderful effect of the clothes.

While Pilotto’s collection has a lot of seasonal bulk to it, don’t think that the dresses and ensembles themselves are not feminine. Quite to the contrary. Again, Pilotto is masterful when it comes to pattern placement and he repeatedly creates looks that flatter the female form, and in some cases very nearly expose it. In fact, more than once the v-neckline of a dress plunged so low as to raise the oft-asked question: if a model exposes a breast on the runway, is it an accident or on purpose? With this collection, one might not be able to tell.

There is just so much here in this 40-look Peter Pilotto collection that I would dare say most anyone is bound to find at least one look that they like. If you can’t, then you’re even more of a curmudgeon than am I, and we all know I’m pretty crotchety about everything. Be very excited when these clothes hit stores this fall, and rest knowing that Peter Pilotto will keep you warm.

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