Viktor & Rolf Fall 2024 Couture: Playing Like Children With Sharp Angles and Big Volumes

“Sometimes, a show is a reaction to the one that precedes it,” mused Victor Horsting backstage ahead of the fall Viktor & Rolf fall couture show.

After a spring lineup that was “very black, very conceptual, almost an illustration of an idea,” he and creative partner Rolf Snoeren were in the mood for something fresh, lighthearted and colorful.

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Of course, as they’re always tilling the groove of taking silhouettes to the extremes, this thought led them back to their fall 1998 “Atomic Bomb” collection, all inflated upper bodies and odd volumes.

“We wanted a similar approach, a similar exaggeration but we wanted it to be more abstract,” continued Horsting. “So we thought about building blocks like child’s play but also about geometric forms and how to combine them with the human body.”

But, as artist Willem de Kooning once said, “even abstract shapes must have a likeness.”

The ones Horsting and Snoeren proffered for this “Haute Abstraction” collection in the gilded ballroom of Paris’ InterContinental hotel had kinship with couture sketches, all sharp angles and magnified volumes.

A triangle was injected into the shoulder line of the opening trench dress. A sphere made a polka-dotted blouse puff out, pushing down the shoulders of the double-breasted coatdress it was under.

A sharp checked blazer looked like it was seen from an impossible perspective, its pattern leading to a vanishing point situated somewhere near the model’s navel. Oddly fitted lapels or off-kilter hems revealed themselves to be trompe-l’oeil effects on closer inspection.

Dressed in bright hues and oddly harmonious print collisions, they skewed playful rather than otherworldly and if anything, had an unabashed ’80s vibe.

For all their iconoclastic wizardry, it goes without saying that Horsting and Snoeren are deft hands at construction, developing crinoline-like structures to support those ideas cut from satin duchesse, jacquards and silks.

“What we like about being abstract is that it gives freedom to the audience, to us,” said Snoeren. “Sometimes, a bit of abstraction gives a breather.”

In a season of conservative silhouettes on couture runways, Viktor & Rolf’s unabashed interplay of colors and shapes felt like a pause for fresh air.

For more couture fall 2024 reviews, click here.

Launch Gallery: Viktor&Rolf Fall 2024 Couture

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