Viktor&Rolf Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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At the Viktor and Rolf fall/winter 2013 show Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren decided to pull back quite a bit on the quirky factor that helped bring this brand to prominence.

Perhaps it was the fact that they had the elegant and stylish actress Jessica Chastain sitting front and center at the show. Or maybe it was simply time to try and evolve those gimmicks into something with more sartorial significance then getting coverage in glossy magazines. Whatever the case may be, it was the right move for this house.

On a dramatic black and white set which featured a faux wooden plank floor and a bold backdrop of drooping sunflowers, created by the white hot production house Bureau Betak, the designer duo sent out a black and white show filled with big bows and ruffles. Now wait a minute, just because a house uses bows and ruffles it doesn’t mean this was a sugar sweet show.

Yes there was a girly element at play, the ruffled mini dresses made sure of that, but add a pair of pants and that undulating skirt is transformed into a peplum. As for those bows, well they craftily sprouted out at the shoulder of a sleeve or bloomed from the neckline of a crisp white shirt. But they never overwhelmed the garment. Besides those two stylistic themes the faux two piece jumpsuits and poetic black and white sweaters with a delicate leaf motif ringing the upper body should do well for the brand.

But if the first half of this show slanted towards the feminine, just like a ying to the yang, the second part of the collection took a tougher slant. The designers sent out black pantsuits, sweaters, fur coats and classic white shirts that had been embellished to look “well loved”. That is to say they shredded the knees of the pants and recreated the left over threads of fabric with black beading. Or they edged the “holes” on a turtleneck sweater in fluffy mohair. Lace too was used to patch up the gaps in a sleeveless T-shirt or button up top.

Yes it was a bit tricky but the idea didn’t feel like a publicity stunt, just clothing incorporating the brand’s DNA in a creative way.  

- Jessica Michault

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