Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are the performance artists of the fashion world. Their Fall show, which they dubbed Glamour Factory, picked up where their Babushka collection of more than ten years ago left off. In that instance, the designers appeared on a revolving stage to dress Maggie Rizer in nine layers of crystal-encrusted dresses. Today, Kristen McMenamy, another nineties face, was the center of attention.
After she teetered out wearing a few more layers than Rizer did (she estimated later that it was three times her body weight), McMenamy was joined by Horsting and Snoeren, who proceeded to remove one piece of her clothing at a time and dress the younger models in those items for their marches down the runway. First off was a giant tweed cape that turned into a coat with a few tweaks here and there, followed by, among other things, a leather coat that reversed to a beaded one and a crystal-studded number that unzipped down McMenamy's back and zipped up the second girl's front.
Once McMenamy had been stripped down to a nude bodysuit, the process resumed in reverse. The give and take culminated with a slinky silk strapless dress that with a few pulls of its drawstrings became a cape, and a ball skirt that turned into an Elizabethan ruff of absolutely epic proportions. The crowd ate it up.
But what was the message behind the theatrics? Why dust off a past project in front of a been-there, seen-that crowd? After coming down off their stage high, Horsting and Snoeren explained that, "This time around, we want to show that something can be both wearable and extreme at the same time. It goes beyond a mere idea; it is literally ready for production." It's an interesting notion, but it wasn't entirely clear how it related to, say, that ball skirt-cum-ruff. Ultimately, you can't help thinking this show will be remembered more for the spectacle than the clothes.