Couture’s Political Comment at Viktor & Rolf

It’s not often that couture deals with the gripes of the real world, because as a fantasia of dreams it’s not so much meant to. But Viktor & Rolf were out to do just that on the penultimate day of couture fashion week with a collection that took neon meringue tiered dresses as its canvas and adorned them with slogans such as “Sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come,” “Give a damn,” “I want a better world,” “Go to hell,” and “Trust me I’m a liar.” 


Viktor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2019 Couture show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

The models – with their caricature Rapunzel cascading hair – moved like chess pieces, their sizeable swishing skirts and articulated neon sherbet shoulders conversely frothy and fairytale to the reality checks ornamenting them – some statements more in tune with the social media world we find ourselves living in and others merely a reflection of the news headlines. 

Viktor & Rolf, otherwise known as Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren stopped their ready-to-wear line back in 2015 to focus on fragrance and couture, the latter of which has seen them explore themes such as up-cycling and walking works of art. 

Up until this point in the week, with the backdrop of the gilets jaunes protests, couture had seemed to stay relatively clear of any political comment. In most cases – such as Chanel, Elie Saab, and Jean Paul Gaultier – it had been more about a visit to the seaside. Tailoring, too, and big-big bows had also factored as trends. 


Viktor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2019 Couture show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Intriguingly for a duo known so for their avant-garde sensibility, this had more hallmarks of wearability. Those dresses could easily be sized down or transposed to Ts to boast the same kind of sentiment. 

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