Viktor and Rolf

Couture FW 2020

Photos by Viktor and Rolf

Hope In The Face of Change

A Viktor and Rolf Message

In a short film for their Autumn/Winter 2020 collection, the word “change” was both the theme of the Viktor and Rolf presentation as well as the starting point. It’s a fitting inspiration as this year has been nothing but a shift in lifestyles; forcing creatives to push their artistry to the limit. This 5-minute film by the Dutch duo had a fashion show concept monitored by a narrator and divided into three categories: “three wardrobes for three mindsets,” mirroring our moods perfectly during the time of quarantine. The moving picture, shot at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Amsterdam, vaguely reassembled an ad on how to dress during these unprecedented times. Everything was shot in a door frame with just a little peek of the space behind, ultimately creating an intimate experience for the viewer; as it gave the impression that both the clothes and the narration were tailored for their eyes only.

The first bracket portraying sadness and fear starts with a chic, royal blue man-made satin nightgown, with spaghetti straps and a beautiful decollete, with stormy lace motifs of clouds and lightning; all coming together above the waistline, with a small bow. For us, the rain translated the emotional despair experienced around the world lately, and lightning stood for tension. Each category, while with different themes, had for their second outfit, dressing gowns embodying the utmost comfort, with the characteristics of masculinity and flimsiness “meant to be worn inside the home only.” The first robe is dark grey with a seamless ruffled hem with front pockets, an oversized black quilted satin bow at the waist, with giant sleeves that almost touch the floor, complete with wide cuffs in the same quilt fabric. In true Viktor and Rolf fashion, this attire is both imposing and simple. The closing look for this set, however, depicts anger but is the quintessence of Avant-Garde, which is what we know the designers for: a matte black faux-leather A-shape fitted coat, with oversized sleeves, contouring glittered seams, and patched 3D cones in different materials. We particularly liked the pink peignoir for the sequenced enormous bows on the sleeves with a hint of yellow details on the cuffs and buttons. Because of their proportions, both the leather coat and the terrycloth robe are the ideal 6ft a part garment!.

The second group is all about conflicting emotions. Still, with a dark topic, the designers implemented their playfulness in the collection with the colorful cylindrical cones of the pink coat, and their signature patchwork has seen on the first look of this category. A one-shoulder salmon satin gown with an original polka dot pattern made of different lace emojis representing confusion and contentment.​ ​The​ makeup used was theatrical with a focus on the eyes, with pink and burnt orange eyeshadow topped with fuchsia blush and lipstick that complemented all the models’ skin tones. During this time, many people have reported that they’re changing from PJs to PJs, but this avant-gardist is not into loungewear if it doesn’t mean being excessive. She goes from négligé to bathrobes to ball gowns, and as the narrator noted, “there’s an unexpected glamour at home,” and this Viktor and Rolf woman just oozes of elegance, all while wearing “the smartest new accessory of the season,” a face mask. She wants to dress up regardless of any
situation; she adapts to change as it’s not only necessary but will be constant during this pandemic. The last look is a winter white coat-dress with red and pastel cutout hearts standing from both sides of the collar, all around the sleeves until the bottom of the coat, representing unity as we’re all in this together. With this collection, the Dutch designers showed us the different ways we can not only adapt to our current situation but still enjoy fashion in the comfort of our home. But the most important message for us is that the story highlights the importance of having hope and love. We finally have the confirmation that fashion is not dead after all!.

By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre.