In a five minute video, titled change and released July 8, performance artist Mika provides a surreal voiceover as three models move through an empty, but grand space, wearing Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s latest creations.
The diverse cast display three mini-collections within the short film, that are a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of the time in which they were envisioned: ‘three wardrobes for three mindsets in these extraordinary times of change’.
The first set, ‘that together embody a rather sombre mood: a feeling of sadness and anger familiar to many these days’, consists of a symbolic, dark-cloud embroidered chemise, a fittingly home-centric dressing gown, and an aggressive, spiky trench coat.
The second mini-collection, ‘signalling our conflicting emotions these days’, includes an asymmetric dress covered in contradictory emojis, a manic pink robe, and finally, their first social-distancing coat, created to keep others at bay.
Finishing off the triptych on a hopeful note, the last three looks, ‘radiate love’, with bold heart-embellishments sitting on calming silver and white constructions.
‘Melancholy becomes serenity. Change is necessary.’ Mika states, ‘If only we could change ourselves, as easily as we do our outfits.’
While Victor & Rolf have approached social-distancing head-on during Couture Fashion Week, other historic fashion houses have been slightly more oblique in their references.
Dior harked back to wartime restrictions by creating their collection in miniature for dolls (alongside a full-sized version of each item, seen in a supernatural video), Ralph & Russo introduced their first avatar muse who modelled their collection virtually at the seven contemporary wonders of the world, and Balmain‘s own catwalk was reimagined on a boat down the Seine.
This directness is somewhat typical of Victor & Rolf’s style. The brand just about broke the internet in January 2019 when they sent tulle masterpieces emblazoned with punchy (and hilarious) statements such as: ‘Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come’, and ‘I’m not shy I just don’t like you’, down the couture runway. Proving, as they have with their most recent AW20 Couture presentation, they are unafraid to by playful in the restrictive world of couture.