With new music by Isola Music and saxophonist Mat Clasen, the film weaves together a calming narrative of personal style embodied by Harper’s intentional and delicate movement. The clothing is a best-of from Pilati’s Random Identities oeuvre, a brand radical in its thoughtful design and accessible price point. “From pattern cutting to styling, I’ve chosen the looks by their actual functionality from day-to-evening; a concept that can be updated to home-office-wear, which is revealed also in the choice of very light fabrics or almost no-accessories combinations,” the designer said, noting that most of the collection is made from jersey. “I think to insist on proposing beautiful sleeves on uppers as well as some sheerness and/or some beachwear combined with bottoms rich in fluidity and vibrancy could very well represent the mood I am in right now: to feel safe, chic, understated yet present, minimal, and expressive.”
The brand’s “Berlin baggies”—a blouson take on workwear trousers—appear throughout, as do new “club nostalgia” looks, as Pilati calls them, that harken back to a time when going out and getting capital-D dressed was the norm. “The tailoring, dear to me, I’ve avoided ... nevertheless, silhouettes to me have equal ‘uniform-authoritarian’ formality,” he says. “I find the result particularly chic: a word opposite of cool, which in my case I find obvious to make them co-exist.”
Here, Pilati discusses his new film and outlook on fashion.
Random Identities has existed mostly on its own schedule; why did you want to release a video project this summer adjacent to some of the Digital Fashion Weeks?
It was simply coincidental. Unfortunately, but fortunately in my case, some of the clothes represented in the film are from old productions partially on sale right now, some [are] new arrivals, and some [are] atelier-first-prototype pieces for future releases. The latter have been combined with some of our best-selling items for style and also to maintain “past and future” naturally balanced in the overall choice of looks. Therefore, I have discovered an interest in letting the process end in a so-called “ideal calendar” timing ... when the timing is right for me and for the brand.
Although, a fashion schedule (in a digital moment, if not an era) still seems like a constriction to have to put energy towards [it] simply to be “different” in establishing new formats.
How did you meet the many collaborators on this project? Why did you want to work with them?
Berlin is a city of crossing paths and souls, I’ll state. Part of its charm is being able to appreciate encounters between people more than “role-keepers” and work-related interests. Exchanges are created to support synergic passions and the legitimate freedom to express them. The remaining space is left to individual taste and ethic. I wanted to work with them because their skill is phenomenal and culturally aligned with my aesthetic.
How has your relationship to design or making clothing changed over the past couple of months? Are you finding that clothing has a renewed purpose (or uselessness) in life?
I questioned and still question the role of the fashion system at large, the concept of fashion and its role in society, including the meaning of it. The symbolic aspect of fashion is what I cannot help to abandon (despite the inevitable feeling of pressure from an irrational load of skepticism and hopelessness which tries to desensitize us from the importance of beauty all while trying to appear positively grounded in the simple habit of “dressing up”). I still believe fashion is an important testimonial of our time.
These are the reasons I actively started to aim at developing Random Identities’s brand strategy. Old systemic mechanisms should change as in politics and economics: inevitably, creatively, or strategically. The pandemic is something that caught me off-guard personally, but not professionally.
What do you want this video to communicate to your clients and fans?
I always start a brand project or design confident that I will reach a certain number of people that have the good taste to appreciate and understand the brand, my style, my work. I prefer, instead, to focus the research for quality in documenting my work well and to share my vision on beauty, fashion as a societal vehicle and, ultimately to please any eventual audience, for which I am always grateful.
What have you learned or gotten better at during the period of self-isolation? What has this experience taught you?
I wouldn’t have any form of self-esteem left if I hadn’t practiced a certain personal questioning and introspective observation way before the pandemic’s lock-down. It is an important process which instills the vital principles of how I conduct my own navigation through these hard times. Facing our relevance and role in society shouldn’t be an individual issue to address in an emergency. Facts and information are there for everyone to process for the good, even when facing a reality that we never expected to be. I did slightly increase my activity on social media though.