Paul Smith: In an English country garden
In fact, Paul found his inspiration not so much in the earth as in the camera. From his show notes, it seemed that he had used his own photographic floral prints as the template for hand-drawn or woven work on cloth, making this collection genuinely artistic.
The colours of these casual clothes — say a big artist shirt over cotton shorts or a V-neck dress flaring out at the calf — were painterly and what the designer called “of muted vibrancy”, inspired
by an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery earlier this year of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
This show was not a dramatic departure from the Paul Smith vision. But the nature element, whether as embroidery or printing, gave a firm statement to the fluid clothes.
The show ended with the designer leaping across his man-made meadow like a lamb in springtime. But then, after this orgy of an English summer garden, he had earned the right to enjoy it.
Peter Pilotto: Tropical Baroque
When loose, long, boldly patterned floral dresses were not sweeping the floor, short tops with child-like flower drawings accompanied gilded, flower-printed trousers down the runway. Any way that the duo could promote the idea of Baroque included gilded fabrics and trimmings or even a golden bra visible through the open breast of a dress decorated with palm trees.
The result was lush and louche — and a lot of fun. But the clothes were also well cut and as wearable as they were desirable. The Latino summer vibe brought exotic macramé necklets filling the throat space, but there were also more casual pieces, especially pale, washed denim trousers mixed with gingham checks.
Maybe it is the English fashion climate that breeds work that is both erudite and easy. For all the artistic references, from sun-bleached frescoes to London-based sculptor Francis Upritchard, the Peter Pilotto collection was simple, if striking, and lived up to its name as a tropical treasure.