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.

Viktor & Rolf’s Armored Tudor Army

Godfrey Deeny
March 06th, 2011 @ 00:05 AM - Paris

If you like your fashion theatrical, highly staged and designed to make a dramatic effect then the brand for you is Viktor&Rolf, whose latest collection seemed designed never to be worn off a runway or a stage.

But if you prefer fashion to be somewhat useful for everyday life, then there was not much point in attending the latest runway display of the Dutch design duo. Because this show, staged Saturday, March 5, in a huge tent in Paris’ Tuileries Gardens, was a funny mix of the pretentious and portentous. Armadillo pleat coats, jackets with eight-inch wide felt stars and what looked like ragged chiffon dish clothes sewn into lumpy cocktails; all of it was just that touch too absurd.

The images were certainly striking, and will fill their share of editorial pages in glossy magazines, but even the avant garde clothes horses that throng to the standing sections of big shows in Paris or London would be hard put to don this Tudor-influenced collection.

And, even allowing for a desire to create conceptual images, why hire some of the prettiest models in the world, and then paint all their faces entirely fire engine red?

That’s not to put into question the technical skills of Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, or their sense of staging. The regiment of Medieval, robotic looking models did all march with drama over a drawbridge to the sounds of Verdi’s Aida. Which, come to think of it, is another place this collection could be worn – in an opera.

The event was also a largely a retailer free zone, understandably seeing how useful unfriendly the collection was. And when even though the drawbridge stayed after down the show, nobody much went backstage.

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