Header image: One look appears outside the wearer’s body, Image by Giovanni Giannoni for WWD
How to wear a dress, or how Viktor & Rolf mischievously play on the idea of deconstruction by exposing the corseted undergarments beneath unusual twisted dresses. Yet, especially during Couture Week in fashion, this is what people came to see.
The Dutch luxury label, which is well known for its unconventional approach to haute couture, did not disappoint: exploring the disconnect between image and reality, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren presented a collection of eye-catching outfits that were their most humorous yet at the Intercontinental Le Grand hotel in Paris. However, not all of the eighteen stunning, voluminous gowns by Viktor & Rolf were worn in a serious context: A few of them were a touch out of the ordinary, such as an abstract fashion illustration or a person playing The Sims with only wacky custom content to use. It was like entering Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, not Tim Burton), and the Cheshire Cat is in charge of the costumes; Alice is, of course, the experimental model, whether she wanted to be or not.
In the most mouthwatering candy cotton colors, the show opened with soft tulle and chiffon looks. At first, it seemed like a typical fashion show; but as far as Couture Week goes, that is always not the case. The dresses began to appear in the most peculiar positions as the show went on, including one that was completely upside-down, another that appeared a meter away from its model, and finally one that seemed to be outside the wearer’s body. It was chaotic in the best way possible, like dresses as hands of an analog clock. Misplaced bustiers, inverted skirts, and right-angle pieces all abound, and weirdly enough, it still made sense: the collection draws its inspiration from the initial experience of viewing the world through our phones thus the ensuing disconnection between visuals and the truth concealed behind them.
In the end, the Viktor & Rolf show is absurdly unserious – and proves that this is what fashion needs at the moment.