Pilar Agoyo is one of my favorite new artists. My background is in fashion PR, and it is always easy for me to appreciate someone with a unique vision.
While I have heard her name uttered several times from friends we have in common, Pilar and I met for the first time last weekend at the 2010 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend last month's successful fashion show “Thunder Run” in which she participated at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. I was thrilled, however, when I found out Pilar was showing her designs at the Heard. My friends who know and have worked with her love and respect her. Native American jewelry collectors might also know her because she is the wife of master silversmith Cody Sanderson.
Pilar’s fashions have been called many things—“cutting edge”, “goth”, “punk”, “chic”, “elegant” and even “risqué”. Based on the pieces I saw at the Heard show, I would even add to that a little “retro.” However you label her style, the fact remains clear that Pilar is cool, calm, collected, well-spoken and adorable, in my opinion. She is very approachable and I was excited that she was willing to talk to me about her designs on camera.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Pilar is that she costume designs for film. She shared that many of her collections come to her as a result of working on a particular project. This is inevitable, since films, especially period pieces, require such attention to detail. These images fill a designer’s mind and are hard to let go of. The day we spoke, Pilar was showing a dress that was made of a wool plaid embellished with vinyl leaves—very cool!
Remarkably, Pilar chooses not to use the traditional clothing pattern, rather, she cuts and lets a piece become whatever it may. She is also known for her unconventionality when it comes to her materials of choice. In addition to utilizing a hodge podge of textiles including silk and velvet, Pilar makes pieces her own with everyday items such as newspapers, masking tape, hangers and more. Green before it was hip to be green, Pilar explains that she embraced this design philosophy while still in college. Aren’t we glad she did!
Get to know Pilar by watching my video interview with her on the closing day of the 2010 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market here.