Viktor & Rolf playfully explores duchess satin and debuts jewelry
How do you make more out of less? Having experimented with the virtues of recycling in previous seasons, Viktor & Rolf has given itself a new challenge, presenting a spring/summer 2018 haute couture collection in Paris on Wednesday, all made from a single fabric: duchess satin.
This versatile fabric, with a silky texture and an elegant drape, has the advantage of being thicker than satin, allowing designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren to fashion colorful, high-impact dresses in a collection that evoked the spirit of Commedia dell'arte with its ruffs, Harlequin diamonds and Venetian masks.
As with other houses this season, from Dior to Schiaparelli, the themes of surrealism and the masked ball have obviously inspired the Dutch duo. The runway, organized at the Gaîté Lyrique theatre, opened with the voice of Laurie Anderson asking "What is behind that curtain?" in the dark. The lights flickered on suddenly, revealing the models whose eyes were blackened with makeup or hidden by masks, as they stood motionless, like wax mannequins, appearing from behind a raising curtain.
Walking in ballerina flats, their dresses alternated between ultra-short and floor-length, and were coupled with long plaited capes. Using duchess satin in ribbons and panels of all shapes and sizes, the designers created a wide variety of geometric patterns (diamonds, vertical or diagonal stripes, checks) through skillful plaiting and assembly, structuring the pieces' shoulders with voluminous frills or corolla-shaped ruffs.
Flowers, also made from the same fabric, were everywhere, climbing up a coat, bursting from a sleeve, embroidered onto a top or in the form of daisies peppering a green micro dress like white polka dots.
On their wrists, the young women were also wearing bracelets from the brand new jewelry line launched by Viktor & Rolf this season. "It is jewelry that brings together glamour and spirituality", Viktor Horsting stated at the end of the show. The chain bracelets have "a rock-crystal plate encrusted with stones such as sapphires or diamonds, which release energy when they come into contact with the skin", he explained.
This new project rounds out the initiatives planned this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brand, founded in Amsterdam in December 1992. An exhibition has also been organized at Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum from May 27 to September 30, 2018, around the radical concept of "wearable art" introduced by Viktor & Rolf's avant-garde fashion.
The couture house is also planning to publish a book and will be launching a new perfume with L'Oréal. The brand dispensed with its ready-to-wear line in 2015 in order to reposition itself around high-end products. Since then, the label has also moved into eveningwear and released a bridal wear line.
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