Is fashion art? This question has been asked many times over the last half century.
The question usually means: are these clothes too tricksy to wear?
But what about fashion as art: something that looks as good — maybe even better — on the wall as on the body? An object with the intention to be identified both as art and as fashion?
Viktor & Rolf offered an answer with their couture show, where the models walked the runway draped in cloth, as if it were canvas that had been removed from gilded frames.
One model would then mount a platform, where Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren would partially undress the human figure. They then hung or draped her clothes within a frame.
“We really want to focus on couture,” said the duo, explaining how every piece of each outfit was made of cloth and was therefore wearable.
On the runway, the models wore simple white cotton draped and shaped, splashed with arty blobs or painted more delicately with faces. There were gilded frames around necks and wrists, like abstracted collars or sleeves. These were maybe uncomfortable to wear, but the models looked graceful.
The balance between art and fashion is a difficult one to strike. But this show had some beauty, a lot of charm and food for fashion thought.