Those with a trained eye on A-list wardrobes will already know of Petar Petrov.
The Ukraine-born, Vienna-based designer’s cult following includes a who’s who of Hollywood, from Hailey Beiber to Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow and Laura Dern.
They go to him for his razor sharp tailoring in sugary pastel hues and distinctive printed dresses with chopped hemlines and unusual shapes, which paint a picture of his powerful and feminine style. Before his first ever catwalk show at London Fashion Week we caught up with Petrov on his new collection.
Why did you choose to show in London?
We love London. London is open to seeing new things and creativity, and we actually get the most support from here. We have great retailers in London and we wanted to show our appreciation to them.
What are the themes of your AW 2020 collection?
We don’t work with a theme, it is always about a feeling that we want to create. What is relevant for our woman, what is the next step on her journey? It’s a very emotional way of working. This season we were playing with generosity. I was also thinking about my Bulgarian background, and added some natural textures, roughness and structure that I think is associated with that.
What is your design process?
We always start with the fabrics and materials as I think they dictate the design; I never think about the particular piece without seeing the fabrics as they inspire me. So we start with the colour palette and fabrics, after that we do a lot of trials in terms of proportion. What’s interesting about this collection is that we challenged ourselves a lot on the tailoring. We wanted to have a new take on proportions: we twisted shoulders, played with more generosity on the back, and more shape at the front. We have a lot of different lengths, which is new for the brand. There is a lot of newness in this collection.
How is this collection different from your previous collections?
We really want to reinvent ourselves with the knowledge that we’ve collected over the years. To bring it to the next level, with new proportions, new takes on dresses, new takes on trends. For the first time we’ve also launched accessories and jewellery. There are many new things coming!
What did you listen to when you were making this collection?
Lisa Morgenstern, who played live at our show and who is half Bulgarian, too. I was really impressed by her work and thought it would be a good match. I also listened to Purcell – I like lots of classical music. Lizzo is the only modern pop star that I like.
Describe your studio.
My studio in Vienna is like my home. Because we spend so much time in there, we really feel it has to be nice and cosy. I have some art pieces that I collect. It is a very classic Viennese apartment, wooden floors, it’s a place that does not feel corporate which is really nice. I feel like I have 11 kids sometimes, I am the parent.
What is your favourite spot in London when you come to visit?
We always stay in Chiltern Firehouse, I really like the mixture of people with a lot going on. I’m always going to Portobello Market, but I wish I had some more free time to go around. Every time I am here I have to work so often the only thing I see is dinner and lunch. People always tell me the weather in London is bad. Every time I’m here its sunny, but I’m indoors!