First, let's all share a moment and look at this;
How Franki? How? And why? And also what? And who? And when? But mainly how? Explain all, please, for we are so confused by these images of strange and wonderful things.Well children, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoering, also known as Viktor & Rolf, the crazy-cool Dutch design duo, have always been known for their whacky but wonderful approach to fashion. I've mentioned them briefly in previous posts but not really gone into great detail about them... that is UNTIL NOW, because, having been rendered completely and utterly dumbfounded by their Fall 2010 show, I have to comment.
Imagine the scene; a fashion show. The runway is completely plastered with images of cogs, gears and screws and the music is layered with the mechanical sounds of a factory. The lights dim. Kristen McMenamy (a popular face of the 90s... I've never heard of her) heads down the runway wearing a ma-hoo-sive fur and tweed cape. The designers follow her and the three of them stop on a rotating circle in the centre of the runway, where Viktor and Rolf then proceed to remove said ginourmous cape from the model, who is standing as still as an extremely still mannequin (that's VERY still). Another model appears on the runway, steps onto the magical rotating bit and the designers dress her in the cape, which, with a few minor adjustments, becomes a coat. This process is repeated again and again as it is revealed, on removal of the giant cape, that McMenamy is actually wearing several layers of coats and jackets, which are each removed in turn, transformed into another garment through the magic of drawstrings, zips and fasteners and then placed onto another model, who then carries on down the runway, while McMenamy is STILL STANDING STILL!
Basically, the whole thing was insane. I don't know what I was more impressed by; Viktor and Rolf's ingenuity and precision when removing/transforming/replacing garments or Kristen McMenamy's ability to wear twelve million layers of clothes while maintaining an air of zen-like coolness.
Those circle-lens sunglasses do remind me of Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? though;
Anyway, Viktor & Rolf have to be commended for the brilliant design features which utilised a simple drawstring to conceal or reveal volume, allowing garments to transform effortlessly from one thing to another. It was never a case of "oh that coat looks a bit like a dress now"; the coat was DEFINITELY a dress.
I also think it's great to see the designers taking an active role in the show, as usually, designers don't seem keen to enter the runway at all. I'm hoping that next season, designers will take their cue from Viktor & Rolf and we'll see Karl Lagerfeld whipping out a sewing machine on the Chanel catwalk and making all the clothes from scratch, right there and then. Brilliant.