On a grey day the all grey Viktor & Rolf collection, staged on a grey set that featured a Gordian knot of circling and intersecting roads, felt very much in the moment.
Before the show began the set inspired note pad scribblings like “on the road” “grid lock” “traffic jam” “bumper to bumper” and “wrong turn” but none of those stream of consciousness thoughts manifested themselves on the catwalk.
Instead, the entire collection took its lead from tire tread patterns, its color palette from concrete highways, and its embellishment reference points from roadside emergency gear.
To the lovely singing voice of Joan as Police Woman strumming on her electric guitar, a melodic version of the ACDC classic Highway to Hell, the designer duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren sent out roomy cable knit sweaters, wide tops, which bonded a thicker fabric to a lightweight base to create a dress pattern effect, and a large shaggy coat.
But it was the tire treads idea that got the most traction in this show. It was alluded to in all those bejeweled cable knit pieces, it popped up as a print on boxer briefs and above the ankle trousers, and appeared as a trompe-l'œil on a otherwise benign tank top.
The faux dress effect that the designing duo uses so well during their recent haute couture show, still made a strong impression in this ready to wear collection as did the cool fuzzy looking jewelry. It turned out to be a new collaboration between Atelier Swarovski and the Dutch duo called Velvet Rock.
Overall this collection didn’t zing with the playful energy that the fashion world has come to expect from the house. And that might just be down to the choice of the 50 shades of grey color palette. The brand looks to be heading in the right direction but for the moment it is still sitting in fashion’s slow lane.
Watch the show!