Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have always been heavy on concept, and here the design duo went heavy on fabric with a show based on lashings of a padded Japanese high-tech fabric manipulated into warped, couture-ified versions of that humble utilitarian men’s wear staple, the bomber jacket. They came paraded, in the show’s opening section, on “haute couture action dolls.” (Read: models sporting hilarious oversized dolls’ heads and Dr. Martens.) “Reality is so surreal sometimes, nowadays, so we wanted to show the surreal and the real,” said Snoeren, summing up their mission “in a nutshell.”
The designers morphed the garment every which way possible, including flipping it inside-out to put the safety orange on the outside. One sported a giant ruff collar; another an accumulation of trademark bows at the back, with folk patchwork quilting — a continuation of the brand’s upcycling movement — gradually creeping into the equation. The second chapter continued without the bobble heads and the couture bombers unzipped over streetwise patchwork denim and T-shirts.
The show felt reminiscent of past concepts — the brand’s fall 1998 Atomic Bomb collection exploring two ways of wearing the same outfits, say, or the fall 1999 Russian Doll collection — but without the same poetry. On the plus side, it was possibly one of their most wearable collections since stopping ready-to-wear.
More From Paris Haute Couture Week Fall 2017:
Chanel Couture Fall 2017: Karl Lagerfeld focused on an essential tenet shared by the Eiffel Tower and couture itself: perfection of structure.
Backstage at Christian Dior Couture Fall 2017: Peter Philips and Guido Palau fashioned the beauty look of the show.
Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2017: The collection blended Baroque references and rock ’n’ roll — with a soupçon of 3-D printing.
Iris van Herpen Couture Fall 2017: For her 10th anniversary show, the designer sent out aquatic-themed creations to a performance by underwater group Between Music.
Paris Couture Gains Extra Day as Confidence Returns: France’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture has welcomed five brands as guest members on this season’s schedule.