Viktor&Rolf Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013 Paris

The fashion world welcomed designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren back to the haute couture calendar this season like returned prodigal sons. It had been thirteen years since the designer duo last showed a Viktor & Rolf couture collection and in the interim the legend of their exploits during that time has grown.

So expectations were high on Wednesday night just before their 7:30pm show. Heightened even more upon arriving at the show venue to see a floor printed as if it was a zen garden.

And then it began. The two designers (who some still have a hard time telling apart as they look and dress a like -they even have the same hair cut) walked to the center of the stage and proceeded to do a back to back meditation séance. Not moving until the room had gone completely quite- even the rowdy photographs finally settled down into a hushed silence.

Then the models, each of them dressed in the same black fabric, slowly walked out. One by one they circled and transected the space until they came to a stop before one of the two doppelganger designers. There a designer would zip a zipper, adjust a section of the different outfits, or break it down a bit to transform its shape slightly, before placing the model in a pose.

Gradually, as more models arrived, the designers put them together to meld them into abstract human sculptures, or the sartorial equivalent of the black rocks used in the Japanese garden.

It made for a memorable living art presentation but as a collection of haute couture creations, it fell far short of the promise this show once had.

- Jessica Michault
 

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