Viktor & Rolf dress vampires in haute couture
Finding beauty in dark places was the theme of Dutch duo's Viktor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2022 Couture collection, who chose the Palais Chaillot, located on the Place de Trocadero, to host their fashion show on Wednesday, January 26.
Before walking down the runway, the models stood behind white lit panels which transformed their shadows into monstrous creatures in the form of elongated projected silhouettes, creating an atmosphere of suspense. What exactly was Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s intention for this gothic collection? To redefine the notion of fear into something beautiful and positive.
“Fear can be overwhelming. There is always a reason to be afraid of something, and our present day offers us many: The current state of the world, uncertainty about the future, our vulnerability and our lack of control,” explained the duo, stressing that “these emotions can be paralyzing, but they can also be used creatively.”
And thus, the old Hollywood Dracula films served as the inspiration for this season’s collection, symbolizing “a fear of change in society, appropriate in today’s context.” The distorted silhouettes created dramatically raised shoulders, completely burying the models’ necks. The torsos were disproportionally elongated while the models’ heads seemed to pop out from the middle of the garments, an image typically associated with horror movies. The exaggerated shoulder pads functioned as the element tying the collection cohesively together.
The gothic, vampiric style took over the monochromatic and somber suits that marked the fashion house’s return to tailoring after its absence in the past couple seasons. The dresses stole the show, however, as the vintage nightgowns and sculptural ball gowns were decorated with ruffles, big bows, embroidered withered flowers, sequins, puffed sleeves, and brocade prints in a muted color palette of whites and blacks gradating to shades of pale pink, sky blue and cherry red. Environmentally conscious materials, such as ‘Tencel’, constructed the architectural designs, marking their first appearance in Haute Couture. The platform shoes accessorizing the ensembles are part of Viktor & Rolf’s third collection of their vegan shoe line in collaboration with Brazilian brand, Melissa.
Miss Fame, the American celebrity and loyal supporter of the brand, stood out among the crowd of guests. “I love the dramatic, Addams family inspired silhouettes; Odd yet captivating. Although my favorite look has to be the wedding dress. It’s a design I can see myself wearing, that would suit my body type. It also tells a story and truly reflects the brand’s identity,” said the former Rupaul’s Drag Race season 7 contestant at the end of the fashion show, declaring herself a fan of the gothic makeup and long pointed nails seen on the models.
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