Peter Non: Walking Without Shoes

By Giuppy D’Aura

The compulsion of fashion is to create newness and variety. This is its strength and it is certainly not by chance that the best designers are the ones that follow this path. Namely they find new questions to ask. Formulating new questions means creating new needs or unveiling previously unexpressed necessities. When Armani created the notorious deconstructed jacket, for instance, it was not about fulfilling the old demand for a blazer, but it was an attempt to destroy the idea of the jacket itself. By choosing soft fabrics and sewing the garment into a new, unstructured way, Armani blurred the borders between jacket, shirt and cardigan. The new concept served the need of finding a garment that was at once elegant and comfortable – which is almost a juxtaposition, but he succeeded.

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Skywalker // Membrana. A/W 2014 collection

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One // Crinkle. A/W 2014 collection

It is certainly under the same light that Peter Non creations have be conceived. Non focused on how to invent a non-shoe, and every aesthetic and technical consideration needs to start from this very point. The apparent “roughness” that characterises some of the designs is in fact due to the precise choice of the materials. The cork and caucciù sole is often combined with cotton, linen, leather, and even silk and lace to produce fortunate contrasts in the final look. Everything made with the finest Italian know-how. Everything is made to be comfortable, even before being beautiful. This is the very concept of a Non shoe.

It is important to say that in fashion the hierarchy, often pursued by designers, in which functionality precedes beauty, is not an opposition between the two. This is especially true for Milanese fashion, which became popular precisely because comfort has traditionally been followed by beauty. Sometimes the sophistication of some designs are in fact due to the work on the basic structures of the final product. The beauty of a garment is often the “side effect” of a specific work devoted to create comfort. Gianfranco Ferré is a perfect example of this. His garments were not beautiful despite their comfort, but precisely because of their comfort. The easiness of the garment was the source of its aesthetic innovation. This is what makes the Non shoe an interesting and original project.

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Path // Bonfanti. A/W 2014 collection

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Mammuth // Sandpaper. A/W 2014 collection.

This accurate work with materials, manufacture, functionality, and design is enough to justify Peter Non’s participation in White. This international fashion showcase, which is based in Milan, asks designers to propose innovation, but primarily to conceive of fashion and lifestyle as a single goal. This is probably the biggest challenge of the future, and this is what Milan is trying to promote by prizing new brands like Peter Non.

In September, Peter Non will be showing their A/W 2014 collection, “All Good Dreams Are Wild and Free” at White Donna in Milan. They will be presenting in a dedicated space in the Basement, in cantina number 3.

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