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.

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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).

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