It's Viktor & Rolf's twentieth anniversary. To celebrate, they've moved in to an opulent showroom in the very heart of haute bourgeois Paris. It feels like their spiritual home, more so than weed ’n’ boho Amsterdam. And, in the way that significant birthdays tend to occasion some soul-searching, the duo set about defining their ethos, once and for all, with a pre-fall collection that offered a clean, graphic interpretation of the design codes of their label: contrast and juxtaposition. But it is Viktor & Rolf we're talking about here, so allowance had to be made for irony bordering on outright tongue-in-cheek.

"Wild Romance" was the title they gave their collection. "Sculptural, with a crocodile inspiration," said Rolf. Why? "Because the crocodile is a very literal example of something wild." So croc patterned a silk nylon jacquard trench, or a knit was embroidered with scales. And fabrics were as dry as a reptile's skin. The antediluvian form of the croc also dovetailed with V&R's own appetite for purely sculptural shapes. The collection emphasized clean construction with a masculine touch in a strong-shouldered, high-waisted pantsuit, a fil-à-fil jumpsuit with a shawl collar, and the duo's signature tux statement reconfigured as a jumpsuit. Fortunately, these pieces were strong enough to overpower V&R's peculiar predilection for twee ruffles and bows. But their archness triumphed with the Bombette, an accessory that put the grenade in hand-bag.