PETER PILOT TO
For Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, founders of fashion brand Peter Pilotto, an extension into homewares has created a whole new area for them to play.
The move from designing for the catwalk to creating pieces for the home has been a natural one for fashion label Peter Pilotto. Famous for executing dramatic silhouettes in a melange of kaleidoscopic prints, the brand’s founding duo, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, draw on their multicultural roots for continual inspiration — whether it’s for a red-carpet dress or a cosy blanket. Pilotto and De Vos cite a number of influences for their design process. First, they take cues from the brand’s celebrity fans — think Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez. “We imagine what their houses are like, what art they have, what they eat and drink from,” says De Vos, who founded the label with Pilotto in London in 2007, after they studied together at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. “Like us, we know they’re very curious and inspired by everything.” Childhoods spent in a variety of places impact on their designing, too. “Christopher is half-Belgian, half-Peruvian. I’m half-Austrian, half-Italian. We met in Antwerp, and now we live in London,” says Pilotto. “In our minds, we’re constantly connected to different places and different times,” he says, pointing to mood boards with images of Peruvian textiles; a pastel wall in Cuba; and a Luis Barragán house. The eclectic inspirations for their work were evident in the pop-up townhouse they created at last year’s London Design Festival. Here, pieces by friends — such as lighting by Bethan Laura Wood, stools by Martino Gamper and vintage furniture from favourite dealer Schmid McDonagh — were mixed with clothing, rugs, screens and throws made using yarns from previous Peter Pilotto collections. In April, Pilotto and De Vos created candelabra for Atelier Swarovski studded with large-scale coloured stones sourced from the crystal house’s archives. Having worked with the house on fashion collections since 2010, and awarded the inaugural Swarovski Collective Prize in 2015 for innovative design, the new candelabra are extensions of the design ideology the duo applied to Arbol, a sellout collection of jewellery created for Swarovski in 2016. The candelabra imitate molecular patterns in nature. Ideas for shape and structure also came by way of architect César Manrique’s windmills in Lanzarote and Belgium’s Atomium. (Atomium was designed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and imitates the shape of nine atoms of an iron crystal — magnified 165 billion times.) “It’s something we’d want in our own home,” says Pilotto. They’re exciting additions to a growing collection of homewares that includes patterned handmade plates by 1882 Ltd, which the designers showcased at a dinner for their recent autumn/winter 2018 collection at London nightclub Tramp. “It started out as an artwork for a knit, but actually, it was better on the plate,” De Vos laughs. There’s also glassware designed with Jochen Holz, needle-punched cushions (an offshoot of a design for a boot) and boldly patterned paravans (folding screens) that debuted at Milan Design Week through Nina Yashar’s Nilufar Gallery.
“I feel like colour is such a luxury right now,” says De Vos. “We want our pieces to evoke a sense of fun and excitement but to remain timeless, too. Our customers want pieces they can have forever.”
Christopher de Vos (left) and Peter Pilotto. The Arbol candelabra for Swarovski (far left).