FLORENCE — After generating their share of headlines in women’s fashion for two years with theatrical runway shows and fanciful ready-to-wear, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren set out to do the same with their first...
FLORENCE — After generating their share of headlines in women’s fashion for two years with theatrical runway shows and fanciful ready-to-wear, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren set out to do the same with their first men’s wear collection.
The designers had said they were launching men’s because they wanted to dress themselves. On Thursday night at Stazione Leopolda here during the men’s trade show Pitti Uomo, they took that anchoring idea to the literal extreme in the form of a precisely executed ballet of dressing and undressing.
In almost perfect synchronicity, the designers — stationed at opposite ends of an elevated stage — barely twitched as valets pulled cropped velvet trousers and slim one-button jackets off the rack and slipped them on the designers.
As the piano reached a crescendo and a recorded voice thick in a German accent began chanting "Viktor and Rolf," the audience, some amused, some baffled, knew the designers were injecting their own form of wit and irony into their debut men’s runway collection.
Once dressed, Viktor and Rolf walked down the runway toward each other, mostly stone-faced, before stopping in the middle to strike a pose — hips popped, fingers meticulously placed on their horn-rimmed glasses. All the while that voice bellowed from the soundtrack: "Viktor and Rolf, VIKtor and Rolf, Viktor and ROLF."
"We rehearsed for a very long time, but we were still very nervous," Horsting said after the show. "It was a different feeling for us to actually be the ones wearing and showing the clothes."
The designers braved the catwalk 10 times, modeling a fitted denim tuxedo with black satin lapel, brushed velvet cargo pants, printed shirts covered in mini black top hats and a sweatshirt with "monsieur" across the chest.
Pitti Uomo organizers invited the designers to launch their men’s collection, which is produced by Tuscan-based manufacturer Gibó. It’s the latest project in a series of measures aimed at expanding their presence. Last year, they inked a deal with L’Oréal to launch their first fragrance.
Although not as elaborate or conceptual as their women’s presentations, Viktor & Rolf nonetheless distilled their clever, hyper self-conscious aesthetic into a viable men’s line, or as they like to describe it, "the next element in the Viktor & Rolf universe."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast