Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2013
After a 13-year absence designers Viktor & Rolf returned to the stage of Haute Couture in Paris and they went for something altogether more contemplative, but nevertheless magical. Twenty models wearing sculptural black looks – one for each of their 20 years in fashion together – moved at slow pace across a rectangle printed with raked stones, ultimately assembling in five clumps to approximate the famous Zen garden at the Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto, Japan.
The undulating, organic shapes were all realized in a spongy technical silk and engineered so that the models resembled stones when in the postures necessary to mimic the garden’s composition. It required curved seams, dimpled insets and 1,000 hours in the atelier to create details mimicking grass.
And at second sight the creations were really wearable. The silhouettes were varied and surprisingly fetching when models stood upright, ranging from a regal cutaway coat to a bulbous chubby sprouting those grass-like strands. Dresses had an S-curve in profile, extra fabric bunching at the small of the back and past the knees. When seated on small cushions, the designers arranged the dresses to hide limbs and match the raked patterns around the “stones.”
But Viktor & Rolf wanted to broadcast their more abstract and conceptual ideas instead of making it a commercial success. The fact that half the collection already sold to an unnamed art collector proves that they can still make interesting couture-collections.