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Viktor & Rolf Womenswear S/S12

The doll emblem of V&R is blown up, magnified and taken to princess proportions

The red-faced army of Viktor & Rolf's last crusade has been dismantled and instead Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have turned to their dollhouse emblem which greets you on their animated website as well as having been a theme the duo have explored previously. The show opened with the French chanson duo Brigitte singing with 10ft high skirts that were then raised to reveal a confectionary of girls in their interpretation of ultra femininity that effectively negated any notions of saccharine girlishness. Instead, Horsting and Snoeren became fixated with the idea of enlarging stitching to the point of cartoonish proportions so that they become the main feature on trench coats, cardigans, stiffened silk and brocade dresses that are another nod to the season's mid-20th-century couture leanings. 

These weren't exactly doll's clothes but the effect was that the duo were subverting what was considered frou frou and girly.  Baroque swirls cut their way through silk and taffeta dresses building up to the familiar finale showpieces that cascaded to the floor making the models look like little figurines on top of a wedding cake or a beautiful but surreal Lladro porcelain figurine.  Metallic lace crept into the show as a mini departure from all the giant stitching, ruffles and tiers but for the most part, the show left girls dreaming of those bygone days of Polly Pocket toys, brushing Barbie's head (or pulling them off in some cases) and the sort of dresses seven year old girls would draw as their ultimate 'Princess' gowns.

Dazed Digital: What spurred on this exaggerated sweetness?
Viktor & Rolf:
It's exaggerated sweetness but at the same time, it was very bold, graphic with an edge. We were looking at a doll's wardrobe but with an edge and a sense of irony.

DD: Was there a subversive undertone?
Viktor & Rolf:
As always, it's an unexpected elegance. It's a provocative couture, what we do and we always like to make sure there is a contrast.

DD: What gave you the idea for the set of the show?
Viktor & Rolf:
One idea was enlargement so we created the set as such with the huge dresses. We love Brigitte and there's a great sense of irreverence to what they do.