P+P want to give the collection with a unique expression, show its fun and elegance.
Pepper and Pistol is a womenswear label from NYC, created by Silvia Hillmann and Katrin Wiens, both born in Germany. Each season they decide on a playful theme or image rich story to base their collection and bring us to a magical world. Girls on their look book also make us imagine how attractive their world and thoughts are. We interviewed Silvia and Katrin who wish to provide their works to girls who can have fun dressing and styling, and who don’t take fashion too serious.
Please introduce yourself.
Silvia Hillmann’s background lies in fashion, schooled in London where she assisted Boudicca, and later worked for Edward Griffiths, who at the time was creating leather jewelry for Clements Ribeiro and Emanuel Ungaro.
Katrin Wiens‘ has training in graphic design; she draws from her travels on an art grant in Japan, and her pattern development for clients like Heatherette, Just Cavalli, Calvin Klein and more.
How did you meet each other? Please tell us how you got started Pepper and Pistol?
We were introduced by a German stylist friend. We both are creative minds and we were in the mood of trying something ‘new’ besides the fulltime job, we were in need of a creative adventure. We initially started out rather naively, not knowing where it would take us or how serious we would quickly become.
Why did you choose fashion world?
We both love fashion, dressing to express our own style. So it feels very natural to want to design your own clothes.
Can you walk us through the process of making clothes?
Each season we decide on a playful theme or image rich story to base our collection on. For further inspiration we research books/ literature, photo material, second hand clothes etc. Draping allows to develop garment details and new shapes straight from loose inspiration pictures, rather than finished design sketches. It’s a far more creative, “accidental” process. Elements of the textile prints are further translated into bigger scale embroideries or other embellishments. They also lead to silkscreen prints, appliques, color blocking and even entire garment shapes.
Could you tell us where the Pepper and Pistol’ is derived from?
The theme of our first season was a German children’s story we both had liked, its about a thieve with a pistol shooting pepper. We never finished that first collection as we needed more time, but it became the name of our label: it perfectly represents the fusion of 2 elements – our respective backgrounds in fashion and graphic design for a wicked explosion!
How do you present your collection? Mostly in magazines or advertisement?
It is very important to us to shoot a lookbook each season to complete our story, it is more elaborate than lookbooks usually are. We want to give the collection a unique expression, show its fun and elegance.
The print is very unique and original with good sizing, elegance and refined… What girls are you aiming to be worn?
Girls who can have fun dressing and styling, who don’t take fashion too serious, probably from mid 20s up.
Looking at your garments, you seem to emphasize on the fabric quality. What kind of fabric you mostly use? Please tell me why.
Good quality fabric with a nice hand to it is definitely important to us and goes in line with our emphasize on clean, high quality garment construction. Fabrics must be easy to wear and feel nice on the skin. We use a lot of silks, light cottons, and silk cotton blends. To mix it up we also like fabrics with slight textures like unique jaquards, great new fabric washes, or fabrics with other interesting finishes to them.
What fashion styles attract you the most? Do you have any other hobbies or passions?
We enjoy art in general, the Brooklyn music scene, socializing with friends, traveling for inspiration.
What do you think about fashion scene in Japan? Do you like the style?
We love Japanese fashion, the way Japanese ‘play’ with their style and usually are not too afraid to express it. There is so much variety in the shops for even little things like socks for example, which might not be regarded as a big fashion item here in USA.
Are you planning to expand to accessories, shoes or men’s line in the future?
Yes, in fact, we do plan to do a few jewelry pieces for our next collection in September. We also have been wanting to do hosiery and other accessories in the future; we have plenty of ideas… if only we had more money! As for a men’s line, we have been doing a couple of silk-screened tees for the boys, which have been a big success, so we will definitely keep doing more.
What is your plan for the future?
Hopefully we will be able to present our next collection in Paris to get more presence in Europe and Asia also.
Pepper and Pistol
Text: Yukiko Oyama, Kazumi Oiwa