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Monday 3 October 2011

Viktor & Rolf, Spring 2012 RTW

I'm inclined to like Viktor & Rolf because they have a playful and innovative attitude towards structure, they don't shy away from trouser-suits, and Tilda Swinton permitted them to clothe her perfect form. However, their latest show was a disappointment, and not only in the sense that it strayed from expectations of the Viktor & Rolf aesthetic.

Rich, upholstery-style fabric and enormous, childish stitching: two great tastes that tastes great together? No. (Also, it's arguable that enormous, childish stitching is even a great taste. I think Vivienne Westwood  or Prada could probably pull it off, though.)

(all pics from

There are at least three things going on there. Old-fashioned, rigid fabric used for a Chanel-ish skirt + blue ankle frills (??) + huge primary-colour lacing stitches + girly statement jacket with transparent cut-outs. Remove the jacket and this wouldn't look too bad, but the combination of the jacket and the skirt really doesn't work for me, especially colour-wise.

This one was my favourite look of the entire collection. In darker colours the curlicue motif looks more adult, and the coat is beautiful. Chic and pretty, although still not really in tune with Viktor and Rolf's past efforts.

That jacket works better with the patterned skirts, since at least this time they look like two items from the same show rather than a bunch of random clothing thrown together.

No. YOU ARE NOT MAKING COSTUMES FOR A CHILD'S PROM-THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY. (N.B. I hope there is not actually such a thing as a prom-themed childrens' birthday party. That would be terrible. Embrace your Pocahontes- and Spiderman-themed parties before irony sets in and ruins everything!)

This gown looks like a student design. "Huge quantities of unsightly, cartoonishly huge lace-stitching" sounds like something a person thinks is a really great idea when they're maybe seventeen and/or have just recently begun to make clothes. My friend Zan took one look at this dress and described it as "flesh folds in a black exoskeleton chitin" but I think that gives it too much sexy Mugler-esque credit. Like a significant proportion of this show, it looked cheap. Viktor & Rolf gowns should not resemble something designed by someone running a Camden market stall that sells quirky handbags made from zips.

A Barbie dress designed by a 7-year-old and then carefully made lifesize by Viktor & Rolf. 
It would take me literally five minutes to construct this next "accessory", and that includes the time it'd take for me to source the ingredients from my sewing kit.

Last year Viktor & Rolf were making sci-fi outfits inspired by medieval knights. In 2004 their muse was Tilda Swinton. Now they're making frilled prom-dresses that Zoe Deschanel would probably reject on the grounds of being too twee. I'm not saying this was a terrible show. It wasn't even the worst show I've seen this season (excluding the dull ones, and I always exclude the dull ones), but there's a certain disappointment that comes from seeing a mediocre collection come from a designer that you'd trusted to produce good work.


  1. 1. Quotes by a fashion blogger. Life: complete.

    2. I miss last year's V&R. ;_;

    3. I should expand the chitin exoskeleton quote by saying "as constructed by a kindergardener."

  2. Oh yes, I thought this was largely a joke. So juvenile. And yet, if they'd edited just a bit and pared some of the elements down, there really could have been something there.

    I do want that long blue coat.

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