Viktor & Rolf Spring 2017 Couture

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Viktor & Rolf

Spring 2017 Haute Couture

Last Fall Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren used materials from their own collections to conceive a new one, weaving their canon together and compressing years of creative output into a single dress or jacket. For Spring, they’ve taken apart old, damaged party dresses from as far back as the ’40s. The coral pocket in Look 16 came from a Courrèges dress, which can be spotted again in Looks 17 and 22.

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Read into the idea as they do, and all those disparate pieces in each look represent fragments of lives lived. The gold that encircles them borrows from Kintsugi, the Japanese practice of repairing pottery in a way that highlights the cracks. The title of the collection: Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Snoeren clarified, however, that their message of repair is meant to be hopeful, far-reaching even. “All the fragmented pieces can be put back together again.”

Measured against their concepts from the near past, this one isn’t as wildly original; reassembly is already a thing, versus the sculptural cubist polo shirts or the wearable framed paintings. But with its layers of substance and sensitivity coexisting with beautiful manipulations of dégradé tulle, the idea represents the highest form of upcycling. In technical terms, the designers noted how this posed a considerably greater challenge than last season. “It was so spontaneous, it took us months to do,” said Horsting, noting the precision of the pieces as each look expanded, treelike.

Seeing as three of the designs will be available for direct purchase from their website—a trial see-now-buy-now approach to couture, the question remains: Would you want to wear one? Perhaps the eccentricity would feel too overwhelming if you didn’t know the backstory. But since you do, none of the silhouettes aside from the supersize surrealist final gowns were fundamentally extreme, least of all the collaged pants. The black-ish dress with a green tulle neckline was realized with restraint. And for this march down memory lane, the Mary Janes (customized by Christian Louboutin) had timeless resonance.

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January 27th, 2017. Article by Amy Verner.

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