When the catwalk's on the ceiling, and the show runs in reversestarting with the designers taking their bow and the standard encore parade of models in bridal and eveningwear clapping their way along the runwaywhat show could it be other than Viktor & Rolf? It seemed a jolly jape in the beginning, what with all the fast-forward pace of it and Diana Ross singing "upside-down you're turning me" on the soundtrack. But just as the requisite notes on white gazar flounces, cream and gold charmeuse, and skinny tux looks were scribbled, and the crowd was floating along with the happy feeling they'd be out of there in a flash, the music started slurring and jerking like a sick headache.
After the false start, a reincarnation of one of Viktor & Rolf's first huge, white ruffled couture art pieces appeared at the end of the runway, followed by upside-down satin gowns, upended tuxedos (jacket as trousers; pants as a bolero), twisted trenches, and sideway ensembles that looked like the models got their heads stuck in the wrong hole during a bout of too hasty dressing.
Of course, this transpired as a commentary on the state of fashion from our Dutch surrealist friends, who have put their heads together to focus on the business of brand building.
"Fashion is running out of time," said Rolf Snoeren. "We are going too fast. Originality and patience is the only way to go forward." Thus, they also slipped in notes on how their signatures translate when they're upside-up, like the white camisole dress, the pretty things in champagne, ivory, and coffee, the white sleeveless summer pantsuit, or the ruffled blouse. And when they're set straight, (here's the real joke) they look just like supernormal clothes.