The idea of “up-cycling” has been around in fashion since Martin Margiela turned it into an art form at the end of the opulent 1980s.
The secret of this upgrade of elegance, which Viktor & Rolf named “conscious design”, lay in the principles behind Japanese pottery. “Kintsugi” follows the concept of beauty in imperfection, accenting damage by gilding the cracks.
This idea is less easy to achieve in cloth, but the results could be poetic — as in a bodice with torn areas outlined in gold, while pink tulle faded into frills of pastel as the skirt. That tulle was a leitmotif of the show from the many skirts to the ultimate parade of hand-made ball gowns.
The pursuit of prettiness is unexpected from the duo, whose penchant has been for arty inventions and intellectual tricks, such as presenting clothes as fabric in a frame.
This season’s idea of glamour, from huge bowls of flowers to the re-made, upscale outfits, seemed like a new direction.
The patchwork of grandeur was as pretty in its choice of colour as it was in the feminine shapes. And if recycling could be this elegant, maybe it could draw more fashion people to the party.