Daily Dose

  Cathy Pill makes couture that’s easy to swallow.

Belgian exports usually fall into two categories: fashion and food. Chocolate and waffles aside, general word association between the country and design tends to lead to the wildly successful alumni from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Royal Academy products like Margiela and Dries, a member of the cultish-ly labeled Antwerp Six, have become household names—well, at least in my house. So Antwerp has made it on the fashion map but what about its dear capital? Brussels can also boast its own fashion by-product in Diane von Furstenberg, as well as its own reputable design school, École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre. One noteworthy alumnus of La Cambre is Nina Ricci Art Director, Olivier Theyskens, who with his Wednesday Addams-inspired look has jumped from Rochas to Ricci all while dressing Vogue princess Bee Shaffer for the Met Gala, being involved in the slight gaffe in dressing sjp for that little movie premiere and receiving much critical acclaim to boot. Just four years ago, another alumna of La Cambre hit the fashion asphalt and no less than two years later spearheaded her first couture fashion show in Paris. The designer in question? 27-year-old Cathy Pill.

Pill’s first notable collection was produced in her third year at La Cambre with which she drew inspiration from The Cremaster Cycle, Matthew Barney’s five-part film sequence, which is literally the most intriguing and uncomfortable thing I have ever watched. It was with this collection that critics affirm Pill found her design voice. In the year that followed, Pill beat 26 finalists to win the coveted “Collection of the Year” award at Trieste’s Its Two design competition in which Martin Margiela himself cast his vote as a judge. Furthering her studies as an intern, Pill learned the avant-garde stylings of A.F. Vandevorst and was privy to the eclectic genius that is Vivienne Westwood. Now on her own, Pill’s most recent collection has even popped up on style.com’s radar, earning her accolades for her paint-splattered and deconstructed dresses that have a slight hint of ysl’s paint-drip movement but exude a more organic look. Her pieces are sharply detailed and beautifully draped and tailored, and Pill is making her name known with innovative prints and rich fabrics. Currently, Pill is gearing up for her third showing at the Paris Couture shows and it is without a doubt that she will garner even more attention (and hopefully more stockists) in the time to come. For now, Pill’s designs can be found at New York’s les Belgian fashion outpost, Le Sous Sol. 

TEXT BY Ashley Brewster