At the crossroads of performance art and conceptual fashion lies the work of Henrik Vibskov. The inventive Dane doesn't seem to lack ideas when it comes to enhancing his runway shows with outlandish installations. This season, a 20-meter enclosure was hidden from view by maroon and pink curtains as guests took their places around it, guided by attendants in white blouses with “Team Vibs” emblazoned on the back. As the drapes were drawn, four hundred moving hands started a hypnotic ballet, moving up and down against pink clad shapes — vocalists providing the human accompaniment to the music — laying on gurneys, for what the avant-garde designer coined to be the Messy Massage Class.
Models took to the runway that snaked around this bizarre massage parlor, clad in knits and tailored outerwear bedecked in sound waves or hand motifs. A few long skirts made for over-easy womenswear proposals. The top halves displayed some interesting tailoring, while the bottom halves were described as typically Vibskov, “cropped, low crotched and some very wide.” Some outstanding items included a thin red and white knit, and tailored jackets, always a high point of any Vibskovian collection. The ensemble had a peculiar charm, and will no doubt resonate with anyone shopping for something outside the beaten track. But the disconnect between the models and the art made for a distraction rather than a show, and dissipated that old Vibskov magic.