The Viktor & Rolf
show is one of those in Paris where it takes people a while to filter in and get to their seats, so if you arrive early, you have plenty of opportunity to contemplate the set design and consider what it may foretell of the collection about to be shown. This season, what with the black and white, bricklike backdrop, you thought, "I wonder if the soundtrack will be Pink Floyd's The Wall
?" And further: "Maybe the collection will be a treatise on school uniforms and rebellious youth.…" Those predictions were accurate. "Another Brick in the Wall" played in a cover version, and on the catwalk Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren executed their own deft cover versions of the schoolgirl look, playing adaptive games with knife pleats, plaid, and crested blazers. There was a ton of commercial appeal in all that, particularly with regard to the long, voluminous shorts, a standout silhouette that Horsting and Snoeren properly emphasized.
The most challenging pieces featured an innovative pleat construction that pushed the school uniform thing in an editorial direction; the weakest looks, meanwhile, were those embellished with safety pins or studs. That punk throwback felt a little played out, though it did speak to this season's Viktor & Rolf theme in an apt way. It's probably also true that the girl Horsting and Snoeren are trying to reach with their ready-to-wear isn't convinced that things like studs are passé, and those punk-inflected pieces had the look of stuff that will sell. They should have played another Pink Floyd cover today: The song "Money" comes to mind.