Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The X Effect

At the Peter Pilotto show I was struck by the visual impact of the “x effect” that he incorporated into several of his dresses.  As you can see in the pictures above, this design detail draws the eye in from both the hips and shoulders to give the appearance of an even more narrow waist.  In short – it makes you look ten pounds lighter!

Later in Milan, I saw the effect in real life on a young lady before the Marni show.  As you can see, the draping of the print creates a vanishing point that enhances the slimming “x effect.”


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  1. Idara

    October 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I.Must.Have.That.Green.Dress- fabulous!!!

  2. David C

    October 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    If the slimming effect was as pronounced as you make out I don’t think we’d be able to see the top two models at all, and fashion designers would have invented an invisibility cloak for dangerously underweight women.

  3. Naomi Marie

    October 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    A clever idea that translates wonderfully from catwalk to street. Adore the painterly tribal of the dress that is being worn in reality, striking yet not in your face.

  4. J Umm

    October 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Who would have thought that such a simple design change could have such a big impact upon the look. very striking indeed!

  5. cristi!

    October 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

  6. anonymous

    October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I hear what you’re saying, and I see what you’re saying, but I disagree that this should be thought of or called “slimming”. The “X” draws the eye. It’s sexy.

    And these women are fit. They don’t need “slimming”.

  7. LocalCeleb

    October 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    eXtraordinary! Love these dresses!

  8. Alyssa

    October 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    The second dress is really beautiful! It’s always nice to see a fresh design, sometimes I feel as if everything has already been done.


  9. cori

    October 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    that last dress is perfection.

  10. Emmy

    October 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    If only all my outfits will have the “X effect”…sigh…

    Pilotto is brilliant.

  11. Kathryn

    October 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I like strobe effect from the fabric on the Pilotto dresses

  12. Zhenya H

    October 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I love the prints! Also, NYC photos are my fav! I can relate to them the most! I also know you did some shots in Russia, can you please post them? Sincerely,

  13. Kate

    October 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Those shapes and patterns are GORGEOUS. I want.


  14. Minty

    October 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    After looking at these pictures, it has become exceedingly clear to me that I now need a dress with an x-neckline.

    Gorgeous. Even the dress without the x-neckline in this post is stunning. Love.

    x Minty

  15. Marcel Da Chump

    October 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    The ‘slimming effect’ results from the accentuation of the shoulders and neck line plus the taper at the waist and hips.

  16. Kasidy *The Fresh Factor*

    October 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    That’s brilliant. It produces such a lovely effect. Love the Pilotto dresses!

  17. Lauren

    October 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Love the real life look from Milan. I agree, the x-effect is very flattering.

    The Styleseer

  18. Estherina

    October 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Those dresses are to die for! I can imagine wearing them and managing to feel sexy on one of those “I feel fat” days.

    Estherina’s World

  19. Ophelia

    October 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  20. CBC

    October 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Scott u have such an diverse eye…..never dull….. very exciting… the dresses…..and the intelectual prints……

  21. elaine

    October 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I love the hour glass form and illusion of strength from the X shape. It would definitley enhance a slim waist. I like the way the fabric and cut updates the lady like 50′s glamour. Beautiful and fun.

  22. canvasofculture

    October 20, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I think the “x effect” as visually slimming depends on how its utilized… the 2nd dress makes the model’s top half look very constricted and tight, but her lower half looks even more accentuated and curvy because of the lines going out! Maybe that’s just me…anyhow, the dresses are really beautiful! great colors!

  23. le sapphire blue

    October 20, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Ah that dress!!!!! sooo artistically balanced!

  24. Miss L

    October 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Lovely dresses! I would definitely wear these!

  25. Carole (NY-etc)

    October 20, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Very good for us “normal” women, but somewhat it scares me on models who look soooo skinny alreqdy. I love the 1st and 3rd dress.

  26. Dominika

    October 20, 2011 at 2:26 am


    Fashion Philosophy

  27. velouria

    October 20, 2011 at 2:40 am

    african style, love it!

  28. The Clothierin

    October 20, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Peter Pilotto fits perfectly in the Marni design! I never thought!
    Here’s what shoes are making.
    Quite a different expression!
    Even “x effect” is of a different context – very rustic romantic.

    Greetings from Berlin

  29. une chatte grise

    October 20, 2011 at 3:33 am

    In the first 2 dresses, the X effect is so obvious that it doesn’t work–if I saw someone wearing a dress like that, I’d just think, “Pity she feels so self-conscious about her waist.” The third dress looks much better and its shaping is much more effective at flattering the body without walloping the viewer over the head.

  30. annabella

    October 20, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Love this line. Peter knows how to flatter a woman. Gorgeous cut and fabric. Shoes too!

  31. Boiana

    October 20, 2011 at 4:12 am

    lovely prints and colors!

  32. Spirale Rouge

    October 20, 2011 at 4:24 am

    The print of the second dress reminds me a lot the African fabrics (Ivory Coast for example), even the shape of this dress is like the cloth that some African women wear tight around the body.

  33. Charikleia

    October 20, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Peter Pilotto we love. Beautiful prints, x marks the spot ;-)

    Kisses from Greece!

  34. Sonja

    October 20, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Carey Mulligan wore the green one on the Late Late Show and looked stunning.

  35. fashionxxi

    October 20, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Love the last dress

  36. Sylvia @ 40PlusStyle

    October 20, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Good observation. That black and white dress is stunning!

  37. Crónicas de mi armario

    October 20, 2011 at 5:19 am

  38. Johnny

    October 20, 2011 at 5:27 am

    I agree, the “x effect” is pretty amazing and unexpected.
    But. most of all, I love the printed kind of parachute dress in the third picture: super cool!


  39. Farah

    October 20, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Wow, I love the lady’s dress in the last photo, very chic yet casual and pretty :)


  40. adie andrews

    October 20, 2011 at 6:24 am

    The white dress is such a beauty with that clear lines and perfectly matching colour combination I want is so badly.


  41. Marcela

    October 20, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I love this, it’s great , it really does make the waist look slimer, but if not that the dresses are gorgeous.

  42. Jayne

    October 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

    As if those models needed to lose 10 pounds! Heftier models, please to show OFF the effect!

  43. Emily Ulrich

    October 20, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Those shoes at Pilotto are the perfect touch! Loving the direction of the dress’es’ prints.

  44. BobbePin

    October 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

    This dress is great for slim and tall girls like me.. :)

  45. Clara Turbay

    October 20, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I just love it!

  46. Bambi

    October 20, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I prefer effect Y hahah

    Have a look to my blog.

    Leave some comments.

  47. Elisa

    October 20, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Ca marche! Je le trouve simple et cool!
    Bon compte rendu à travers tes photos
    Elisa, en Argentine

  48. Nolita Vintage

    October 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    The X effect is super! Would love to own one dress or two!

  49. ADJ

    October 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

    The fabric of these dresses is amazing! I really love the cut of the dresses too.

  50. v.v.

    October 20, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Really interesting idea, the visual effect is great!


  51. Mertxe Hernandez

    October 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    The shapes are brilliant. Beautiful dresses.

  52. Francesca

    October 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

    LOVE the X-effect, especially on the 2nd dress. I try to mimic this effect with cardigans buttoned only at the waistline, or by belting unbuttoned blazers, but this design incorporated in the dress is genius! Must have it!

  53. Emanuel I.

    October 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Absolutelly agree with u!
    The prints make an optic ilussion – the person who wear it really looks more skinny!
    Thank you!

  54. Isabela Capeta

    October 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

    That’s an amazing shape and the dresses are really great. It’s all about composition!

  55. [email protected]

    October 20, 2011 at 9:01 am

  56. Bela Monstro

    October 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I’ve never thought about it has an “X” but you’re right, that effect is what make them look so elegant. I’m stucked to dresses right now and these are really gorgeous!

  57. [email protected]

    October 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

    That last dress is so striking…and perfect for summer which has disappeared here in the U.S. for now. Just for now! Anyhow that assymetrical hem makes that blue/mud green/white dress a super easy to sew garment. I love it!

  58. flysongbird

    October 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

    i am stunned at the designs..they are marvelous!!

  59. Michael

    October 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I like this effect. Have to wonder how well it would work for normal women who do not weigh 94 pounds however….

  60. art deco engagement rings

    October 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I also love the shoes!

  61. MstrdavidPOP

    October 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Love the first image, its reminds me of an optical illusion


  62. Kacie @ A Collection of Passions

    October 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I love these dresses. Those patterns are striking!


  63. brie

    October 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    the last girl is Cinthia, Giovanni Castiglioni’s girlfriend

  64. Lisa

    October 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    The pattern, the cut, the silhouette; it all works!

  65. Nene

    October 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I agree, the “X Effect” is quite beautiful and original HOWEVER, I hate the prints they’re weird (the second girl almost looks like a lizard) and the color combination is not my favorite.

    Nene (A princess in the making)

  66. Cece

    October 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Love the X Factor. The bottom dress is great alone or with jeans. Dress it up or done. Belted or not. Fabulous travel piece.

  67. Invito Couture

    October 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Gorgeous dresses! Love the X effect

  68. dominique

    October 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    huch, the second dress reminds me strongly on a fish!

  69. Mo

    October 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Does anyone know what shoes the woman is wearing in the last photo? Perfect, elegant summer sandals!

  70. YogaSpy

    October 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I respectfully disagree. I think the X factor adds curves and thus inches, especially in the hips. It does slim the waist, however.

    The runway models typically look straighter and leaner; here they look curvy. Imagine a curvy woman wearing the X factor: the curves might become extreme!

  71. Martine

    October 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    oh. The models look like mermaids. Like they just came from the sea. And the lady in the last picture looks even prettier then the models on the catwalk.

  72. Constance

    October 20, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Let’s view this “X-effect” a bit more conceptually.
    Female (sex not gender) is determined by the x-chromosome. In this current fashion period so dedicated to the “feminine mystic” of the 1960s, as viewed by Pilotti’s silhouettes, it is intriguing that the designer present the strictures of the sex blatantly upon the feminine form. Even in the breezy, cosmopolitan design of the woman in Milan’s dress, we see that same presentation of gendered expectation – beautiful, feminine, fertile (breastsxtiny waistxround hips). Fashion reflects our world, as women return to girdles (who exactly is that really for?), continue to make less money than male counterparts, and violence against women continues to be sky high. Fashion is life, and life, like fashion, can be depressing.

  73. B.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I really like the dresses, great shape
    fashion & lifestyle in Belgium

  74. Lauren

    October 21, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Love the X effect!! I think the last shoes are Marni, amazing as always

  75. yvonne

    October 21, 2011 at 3:51 am

    great observation!

  76. La Perle

    October 21, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Wow – you are so right, simply stunning! I will be on the lookout in Paris for a similar style!

  77. Hester Hodde (@HesteriaH)

    October 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The X effect was also seen in the Prabal Gurung SS12 collection in the form of rope.

  78. Cassandra

    October 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Such beautifully dizzying prints!

  79. Mr Kane

    October 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    love the dress! and how great a X dress looks!

    JK |

  80. Linda Lou

    October 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

    It’s the “X Factor” taking over. Subliminal influence from Simon Cowell. First the Isabel Marant jeans and now this….

  81. sherie'

    October 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

    brilliant and breathtaking for reasons too numerous…great post

  82. Ana Maria..

    October 24, 2011 at 2:18 am

    The last girl Cinthia at the Marni Show, looks beautifull on x- effect dress
    .. at all she’s a very glamorous Venezuelan girl!! allways at the best disigners shows.. and she’s extremelly serious in fashion. all she’s wearing the top of the top!!!’s the optical effect on that dress

  83. Desiree

    October 24, 2011 at 2:58 am

  84. ak

    October 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    The future is here! Those first too dresses are hot they look like what a hot chick on Star Trek Deep Space Nine would wear and I mean that in the nicest way possible

  85. Martine

    October 25, 2011 at 3:57 am

    The X effect is very interesting, and is great even without the “slimming ” effect. I just love how it wraps around the body! I doubt it was intended as a sliming device at all, but you are right, it does give a great hourglass look. Perfect. I love the top two dresses!

  86. Martine

    October 25, 2011 at 4:08 am

    @ Constance; You mean “feminine mystique” not “feminine mystic” A feminine mystic is a carnival fortune teller the is very feminine. LOL! I think its better to get the spelling correct when trying to be so very clever that you compare fabric tied rather naturally around the waist to the x chromosome. There is nothing at all depressing about the physical difference between men and women. Rather the opposite. And in fact women’s lives have improved drastically from days gone by and continue to improve. There is true equality. There is violence against women, but not any more then violence against men. The better question is why sit around trying to find some women’s issue in the clouds?

  87. Alessandra

    October 25, 2011 at 6:55 am


  88. (I'm actually ruling this blog)

    November 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    je adore le troisième photographie. So ethnic chic.

  89. helena

    January 27, 2012 at 5:57 am

    These dresses are stunning, almost trompe l’oeil. I LOVE THEM.


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