The dense tapestries, geese and duck paintings by Dutch Masters, the gilded mirrors and green garden – Viktor & Rolf‘s show at the Paris residence of the ambassador from their native Holland was a big step in a new direction for the designers.
From a vast tent in the Tuileries Garden for F/W 2014 to this embassy was a change of place, as well as pace.
The duo responded with simple, sporty and pretty clothes, casting aside the witty themes that have filled the last decade of their fashion lives.
“Romantic sports,” said Rolf Snoeren to sum up the collection, for which he and Viktor Horsting ruffled a top with blown-up prints of yellow and coral flowers on a pale blue background, and teamed with black bicycle shorts with a stripe down the side.
Good stuff. But not when you keep seeing the same idea over and over. The print kept coming out on a one-shouldered short dress, a gathered-neck top, a strapless dress … And so on.
A couple of full tutu skirts – this season’s ever-present ballerina inspiration – changed the silhouette. But not that much. Ditto for the burnt-out stretch chiffon in the shorts shape, and some pleasing white dresses, with askew rushing, that dominated the show.
It was all quite charming. And the sun was shining. But this is super competitive Paris read-to-wear and Viktor & Rolf barely seemed to be in the race.