After a 20-year absence from couture, Viktor & Rolf have returned to the scene with an Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Collection sans haute and sans couture. The show was set in a faux Japanese garden with sand raked and painted into patterns on the floor among a few foam blocks. Viktor and Rolf came out, sat on the floor back-to-back and closed their eyes. After a brief meditation, they moved to opposite sides of the stage, and the models entered. It soon became apparent that each outfit was made from the same black fabric and every model wore black rope sandals identical to those of the other models. Check it out for yourself on this YouTube video from their July 2, 2013, show in Paris.
As each model came out, the two designers assisted her as she sat, knelt, or lay on the sand or one of the “rocks”; once she was in position, the designers adjusted her costume, tweaking and twitching the black fabric until the model—and in some cases the person(s) adjacent—was completely covered by it. Twenty models, one by one, all in black (though very different configurations of the black), wearing the same flat black rope sandals formed a tableau in three parts. The designers faced each other and bowed. That was the couture collection? Minimalist is the best that can be said. There was little fashion.