Peter Pilotto F/W 2016
Peter Pilotto F/W 2016

Neither Peter Pilotto nor partner Christopher deVos are old enough to remember a John Williams soundtrack to the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but that is exactly what came to mind, particularly the section known as The Conversation, as the lights went down and began flashing in rhythm to the music. The electronic tones set an atmosphere for a futuristic take on an icy planet for this fall/winter collection.

We also know how much British fans love science fiction, particularly the long-running Dr. Who series, which defies all odds and continues over 20 years despite changing out primary characters on a regular basis. There was a hint of that not only in the background but in silhouettes that were modern and yet played on the past a bit as well. I was rather waiting for a Dalek-inspired piece to come down the runway but, alas, it never happened.

What we did see were a number of diamond-shaped prints on cool-toned metallics that provided a futuristic shimmer to the collection. Prints are the mainstay of any Pilotto collection, of course, but the prints may have been outdone this season by the quilted embroideries that adorned many of the pieces, especially at the beginning of the collection. If he was going for something that would create a futuristic tone, that design full of squiggles and swirls and abstract shapes nailed the look and gave the clothes an interesting touch that was a nice contrast to the rather simple but no less attractive prints.

We also see a tremendous amount of quilting and embroidery in the coats. One heavy coat looks much like a comforter suitable for cold-weather cuddling, a theme we’ve seen recurring this season. Pilotto’s coats are full to the point of being oversized and many look as though one might hide an extra person beneath them.

While the silhouettes are fairly fitted and many of the fabrics lightweight, not every element is as futuristic as one might expect. There are still peplum-like ruffles popping up every now and then, which is something one might hope we would abandon in the future. I’m not too sure about the sandals over suede footwear, either; is the suede supposed to be some type of stocking? There was no immediate explanation of those curiosities.

Any shortcomings, though, can be forgiven. Pilotto’s mix of fabrics and patterns is, as always, quite masterful and creative. He pulls together disparate pieces and shapes that, in theory, probably shouldn’t work together. Yet, somehow, he manages to make them into the most beautiful of dresses. For such a forward-looking collection, these pieces are immensely wearable right now. In fact, a collection like this makes a good argument for being able to buy directly off the runway. Too bad Pilotto doesn’t make that option available this season. Hopefully, he’ll correct that little detail by fall. After all, in the future we don’t have to wait for fashion.

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