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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyCouture: Viktor & Rolf — Gilding Broken Dreams

The Dutch duo made high-end recycling into high fashion

31 Января 2017

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.

But it was to the credit of Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren that they brought freshness — and even sweetness — into their couture collection that was literally pieced together.

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.

Although Viktor & Rolf named the show “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, the overall effect was not downbeat.

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.

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