For spring, the deep-thinking Dutch conceptualists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren threw off all somber constraints and held a wild dance party on their runway. Dizzy with prints, colors, flowers and ruffles, the show marked a wholly welcome fashion mood swing. Forget angst. Fun is the new avant-garde.
It was almost as if the designers had invited their models to turn up wearing the sort of party dresses and dinner-dance outfits their mothers might have worn in the late '60s, that beautiful time when they were teetering on the brink between being ladylike and freaking out. Lots of the dresses, with their tiered pleats and prints, looked straight out of the heyday of Zandra Rhodes and Bill Gibb. Others seemed to pay homage to vintage Chanel, with their black piping on pink, their satin bows and their proper black lace over nude chiffon.
Viktor & Rolf avoided a flop into retro, though, by adding into the mix some clever replays of their own classics, such as the immaculate tuxedo tailoring and 3-D ruffles that have become their signature. The finale dress, entirely smothered in tulle roses, brought to mind their early, arty days of couture innovation. So what put them in the mood to party? "We've been working on our scent, and we wanted something with strong emotion, like being intoxicated by flowers," Horsting says. "We wanted a softer, more feminine silhouette," Snoeren adds, "and to loosen up the strict format of fashion shows."