Paris 03/09/09. Photos by Patrik Kovarik/Getty Images & Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images.
Watching Viktor & Rolf's virtual fashion show makes me wonder why more designers don't go this route. I smell a new trend. Old-school model Shalom Harlow is the only one on catwalk. Or, shall I say, only ones. It's all good though; it makes me focus more on the clothes and less on the models. Wait until you see how up close and personal the camera takes you. It's better than being in the front row! Per usual, these men know how to entertain. The oversize jewels and funky shoes are especially fun. And wait for the finale — a metallic Spirograph dress followed by multiple Shaloms applauding, and . . . well, watch for yourself.
>> Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren may have nixed their Spring 2009 runway show in favor of an online fashion film, but the new virtual presentation — online now — was quite an ordeal in its own. As the only model in the seven-minute film, Shalom had to act as fit model and then afterwards walk the 70-foot runway five times in each of the 20 looks, allowing the cameras to capture all the necessary angles. To compensate for the two 14-hour days in high heels the work required, Viktor & Rolf had a foot masseur on set to keep Shalom on her feet.
The film opens with Shalom running in and proclaiming, in the words of Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face character, that she's late for the show. But Funny Face theme aside, the collection is pure Viktor & Rolf — theatrical (also perhaps less so than past collections), full of ruffles, and bold — not to mention those three dresses embroidered with 20,000 Swarovski crystals each, which weigh in at about 44 pounds per dress.
>> THE MODELIZER —Viktor & Rolf have been longtime fans of Shalom Harlow — they used a huge print of her face as the backdrop for their Spring 2008 show, after all — and now, a year later, they've chosen her to be the one and only star of their online Spring 2009 show Oct. 2. She is scheduled to shoot all the looks in the Funny Face-themed collection early next week. [WWD]
>> Ever the trailblazers, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren took a page out of their Fall 2008 Viktor & Rolf collection and just said NO! to showing on a runway for Spring 2009.
Instead, they'll be presenting the showcase online on their web site Oct. 2 as "an actual show filmed in the Grand Salon of our virtual house." Guests will be granted backstage access to watch the designers do last-minute fittings on the "Funny Face"-titled collection, and can also view the models have hair and makeup done — "It is a take on what a fashion show might be in the future."
Viktor & Rolf are known for their experimental shows during Paris Fashion Week but sadly, the two have opted out of presenting their collection on the runway. Instead, the eccentric duo will be unveiling their 2009 Spring/Summer line virtually on their website. That means everyone (including me and you) can view their creative clothes and antics online.
Their Spring/Summer collection, named Funny Face, debuts Oct. 2 and is "An actual show filmed in the Grand Salon of our virtual house," said the designers. In addition, viewers will be able to go behind-the-scenes and check out the backstage areas, hair and makeup, and designer fittings.
"It is a take on what a fashion show might be in the future," said Viktor & Rolf.
Fashion works at high speeds--one minute we're at New York Fashion Week and the next we're jetting off to the next city, pressing the big shiny replay button. This time it's London Fashion Week and in honor of this city's courtship with fashion and the arts, we've scouted out one fashion exhibition that just couldn't be missed. The House Of Viktor & Rolf, currently at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, reveals the surreal haute couture fantasies that this passionate Dutch twosome have been creating on and off the runway for the last fifteen years, and boy, is it breathtaking.
These designers know how to make a satirical splash in the fashion world, from going on 'strike' in the early stages of their career to painting their models black to covering a single model with garment after garment to create a literal Russian Doll right on the runway.
For the exhibition the two commissioned a giant dollhouse, commemorating their most memorable designs with porcelain dolls (each about two feet tall) not only dressed in miniature replicas of the clothing, but rendered after the models who originally strutted, spinned, or danced down the innovative runways in order to display them. Playing with the notion of a 'fashion house' and their own fascination with 19th century European dolls, the exhibit perfectly sums up the allure of Viktor and Rolf: that there are some designers who just aren't afraid to give in to their imagination, even at the expense of selling clothing.
For more images from the exhibit, click here.
The recent Viktor & Rolf retrospective left you guys split between freaky and fabulous. If you leaned toward fabulous, look forward to reading The House of Viktor & Rolf ($38), by fashion historian Caroline Evans and fashion editor Susannha Frankel, in their tribute to the eccentric Dutch duo.
This richly detailed book examines Viktor & Rolf’s quirky designs across the years, along with awesome behind-the-scenes photos, personal interviews, and stunning pictorials. Each collection is also accompanied by a detailed biography — ooh, I've always wanted to know what inspires them! So why did they decide to use dolls instead of real models at their retrospective showing at the Barbican Art Gallery in London? Find out in August when this book hits worldwide shelves.