You've got to love Viktor & Rolf for their dedicated services to fashion week entertainment. For spring, they produced the full cabaret: Rufus Wainwright singing "Over the Rainbow," a showtime orchestra, ballroom dancers, chandeliers, and champagne. It was a gorgeous performanceall girls two-stepping backward in Lucite-and-pink-satin platforms, and tuxedoed boys dancing cheek to cheek. What more could one desire in a fashion show? A little more consideration to the clothing. Seems churlish, but there it is.
Occasionally, as when Tori Amos did her gig on their stage, V&R manage to combine artistic collaboration with an amazing, thought-provoking collection; this time the Strictly Ballroom theme didn't get to the same level. Star motifs, spangly nude inserts, and dance skirts are emerging as a Paris sub-theme, and Viktor & Rolf had those. But these trends pose difficulties in the execution, and the duo's focus on the technicalities of tricky zigzag and starburst cutouts overrode any sensible outcome in terms of wearability. Their off-putting commitment to silk fringingcascading over dresses and blouses, and smothering the whole of one pantsuitled to an even more obvious snag. Snoeren and Horsting say they believe in fashion escapism, but when their garments might get a woman caught up in her closet-door handle, they've reached the limit.