June 28, 2007
Viktor & Rolf called their latest collection "A bigger splash of colors" in honor of David "Him Again" Hockney's most famous painting, and its undulating blues were reflected in the jacquard weave of a jacket or the pleats rippling across the front of an aqua-toned blouson. Other Hockney works informed a palm tree print and another jacquard, which was based on the artist's interpretation of the alphabet. It was Hockney's life as well as his art that inspired the duo, so his signature glasses appeared as an embroidered motif, and a blue awning-striped jacket could have been lifted from his closet. But the stripes had been appliquéd on the fabric, as a reminder that one was in the magical kingdom of Viktor & Rolf, where nothing is quite what it seems. Hence, two-in-ones (a cotton collar under a piqué V-neck) or an all-American patchwork jacket that was woven rather than patched. Considering the borderline lugubriousness of Viktor & Rolf's public demeanor, it's always reassuring to see their playful side come out, here when they stamped their signature V&R seal into a big swirly gob of play dough. Equally, they're keen to broadcast their seriousness of purpose, so this season they offered a range of classic suits, including a three-button pinstripe where the lapel cast a "shadow" that was emphasized by stitching. That kind of arch detail is almost too clever for its own good, unless one cleaves to the view that Viktor & Rolf are better artists than designers.