We haven’t heard much from Stefano Pilati since he left Ermenegildo Zegna in February 2016. Aside from sightings at runway shows by other fellow designers, Pilati has remained rather quiet. But during his absence from fashion, the former creative director for Yves Saint Laurent has been taking his time building on an independent project, which he teased on Instagram in the middle of 2017.
Pilati officially revealed RANDOM IDENTITIES by staging a runway show at SSENSE’s Montreal headquarters. Models walked down the aisles of the actual workspaces of SSENSE staffers, as screens lit up depicting the livestream of the show. The debut collection took on a gender-neutral approach with each silhouette more different than the next; a Stefano Pilati signature. There were voluminous cargo pants by way of a cinched waist and hems, corsets shaped like ruffled skirts, soft-draped coats, and all worn with the collection’s high-heeled boots.
Having moved to Berlin since leaving Ermenegildo Zegna, Pilati revealed to SSENSE that being away from fashion and immersing himself in the city’s culture and nightlife, has given him “more objectivity in what I do”. Pilati also says that he has “no fear” now. It’s evident from the collection that Pilati took Berlin’s club culture as a point of reference—an environment that Pilati says, “occupies a large space and role in shaping the youth. There is freedom and transgression but confined and protected.”
Part of the RANDOM IDENTITIES collection is now available at SSENSE. And surprisingly, the pieces are more accessible than one would imagine; especially coming from a designer who has been known to create designs with couture-like applications. The previously-mentioned corset belt is priced at USD100, while a tailored polyester trench coat goes for USD440. We’re sold.