We talked to the London-based design duo Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto about their design process; they share their inspiration, colour theory and process behind their incredible prints and embellishments.

Tell us how Peter Pilotto began?

Peter: We met when we were studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2000. I started my own label because a few stores wanted to buy my graduation collection, and later on Christopher began collaborating with me. It made sense for us to keep the name Peter Pilotto because we already had some interest and we didn't want to re-brand. By 2007 we were showing on schedule at London Fashion Week.

Photo by: Piczo

Print and embellishment are signature Peter Pilotto trademarks; what drew you to this form and what inspires you about it?

Christopher: We love working with digital print as it's so flexible. We can work to get whatever is in our minds and translate that onto fabric in a really unique and special way.

Peter: Working with embellishment can elevate a garment to a new dimension, we really enjoy our ongoing partnership with Swarovski who have been very supportive of us over the years.

Colour and its impact play a key role in your collections, what is your colour theory?

Peter: Everything we do is a way to express colour combinations, to express what we love. We like that the colours and the desire for colours are in a way the starting point, and then we gather all the components and put them together. Often it’s about a certain playfulness that we want to express, but at the same time it has to be combined with strength and sharpness.

We love working with digital print as it's so flexible. We can work to get whatever is in our minds and translate that onto fabric in a really unique and special way.

Christopher de Vos

Peter Pilotto Printed Scarf Blouse


Peter Pilotto Asymmetric Scarf Skirt


What is the process behind your prints?

Christopher: The process is a whole season long. It’s very intense and it never ends where it started. It’s important to us that an idea gets transformed and then surprises us with how it turns out.

Peter: Our prints are special because we really work hard on them and the resolution on the image is so high. Every single garment in our studio has its own print file. We also try to achieve the most flattering result for the figure. Our designs start off as a collage on the body. It’s never just a flat textile design and everything is done to scale. Then we decide afterwards whether it becomes a print or an embroidery. Sometimes we sketch by hand but technology has become a great tool. We can take a picture and manipulate it through the computer.

Peter Pilotto Embroidered Dress


PETER PILOTTO Appliqué Sweater


Tell us more about the design process for the quilted Peter Pilotto look for Autumn Winter 2017, as seen on Rihanna.

Christopher: We are mostly inspired by travel, art and design. Designing collections always starts there for us. For Autumn/Winter 2017 we delved into the rich textiles museums in Lima, Peru. I am half Peruvian so it made sense for us to explore some of the beautiful heritage in a subtle way, including the Nazca optical illusion embroidery effect that was overlaid on quilting.

Peter: We like the idea of referencing a worldly technique with beautiful history but making it unquestionably our own and something completely new.

Discover the Peter Pilotto collection online and in store.