Never mind John Malkovichimagine life inside the heads of Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. Their career path has been a crazy paving of concepts, most involving elements of illusion and/or performance art, which is why Las Vegas made perfect sense as the backdrop for their charming, witty spring collection.
The duo says this season's inspiration is Dutch naval history. Fans of the subject might feel the tang of the sea in the foggy colors, or the fishermen's sweaters with military detailing, or the crisscrossing cadet stripes on knitwear. But there's no escaping the fact that it just doesn't have the wow factor of Vegas. There's a new emphasis on commerce, rather than magic, which is no surprise: Viktor & Rolf is about to open its first store (this spring in Milan), and high concept hardly fills the tills.
Nonetheless, lovers of the label's irony and idiosyncrasy will be happy to find the kind of finish that reflects their double take on fashion: subtle ruching or a turned-up cuff on a jacket sleeve, a double cuff on a shirt. And Dutch royalists may also be pleased to claim Horsting and Snoeren as fellow travelers. Viktor & Rolf's signature red wax seal is now gold, and they have created a family crest for themselves, which is writ large (on shirts) and small (as an emblem to replace the old magician motifs). There is also a sweater patterned after royal table linens.