Style Check: British fashion prize the start of bigger things for Peter Pilotto
It is just a few days before the start of London Fashion Week. And granted I might be biased having spent many good years in the city, but London's unique fashion history, multiculturalism and blend of styles have made it an inspiring place for designers.
While there is no shortage of creativity, a lack of funding and business mentoring had previously kept many British designers smaller than their European counterparts.
Initiatives have now been set in place to remedy this and sure enough British brands are being helped to the global stage. The latest winner of the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund (founded and chaired by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman), Peter Pilotto, is a case in point.
The brand, helmed by Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto, had just announced a lucrative collaboration with American high street apparel chain Target (out next month), before news broke of their big Fashion Fund 2014 win. Things are looking up for the pair, indeed.
The prize of £200,000 (HK$2.5 million), and business mentoring by some of the country's biggest retailers, is not to be sniffed at. I met the design duo a few years ago in Beijing and again in Hong Kong, as they scoped the Asian fashion scene. The label's mesmerising digital prints and signature futuristic cuts have made for an exciting aesthetic in the crowded world of young brands.
The multicultural pair - de Vos is half-Belgian, half-Peruvian and Pilotto is half-Austrian, half-Italian - met at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the breeding ground for Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Martin Margiela.
A promising collaboration turned more promising as the pair's striking looks took the London fashion scene by storm, with critics rushing to decipher their interesting silhouettes and saturated prints. Several years later, with the designers still young and edgy, the brand has grown, with hundreds of points of sale at global retailers.
It will surely be amped up to another level with this new injection of resources from winning the fund prize. A more mainstream world arena awaits for Peter Pilotto.
Watch this space.