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Viktor & Rolf

Crystal chandeliers. Traditional ballroom dancers. Same-sex ballroom dancers. Mini orchestra. Rufus in Judy mode.<BR><BR>

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Crystal chandeliers. Traditional ballroom dancers. Same-sex ballroom dancers. Mini orchestra. Rufus in Judy mode. Another campy fragrance launch (men’s). Champagne for everyone. And oh, yes, beautiful clothes. Welcome to Paris!

Whether one loved or loathed the shtick, and there were naysayers, on Monday Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren showed a Viktor & Rolf collection that epitomized the wondrous possibilities of Paris fashion. Here, high chic, hyperbole and even silliness can coexist on the same runway, as can a lineup that runs from real to real couture to theatrical frolic or even folly.

Before the show, the designers said they were drawn to the disciplines of figure skating and ballroom dancing because those arenas seem superficial but require work and extreme control, elements the pair wanted to fuse in their collection. Thus, there were riffs on sheer with glitzed-up illusionwear, faux suitings zipped up the back like male skater getups, a too-kitschy star theme and one or two über-flounced frocks.

But there was so much more, in clothes that were classic, conservative even, but that displayed the designers’ hyperfocused imaginations and incredible skill. Theirs is a deft balancing of cut and decoration.

Most stunning, a complex fringe motif transformed the familiar — trenchcoat; goddess gown — into the extraordinary. The fringe then got scaled down for detailing on blouses and lean dresses. And there was ample smart tailoring, as in sleek coats worked in moody degradé. Finishing it all: strappy platforms atop enormous cut-crystal heels.

Shall we dance?

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