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Viktor & Rolf Womenswear SS13

Glamour was never going to be totally straight forward in the hands of this Dutch duo

PhotographyLea ColomboTextSusie Lau

A winding mirrored staircase and a black and white tiled flooring look as though they have been lifted straight off a 1930s Hollywood movie set and backstage, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren insisted that they wanted to show "clean glamour". Yet at the same time even with a comparatively more approachable and straightforward Viktor & Rolf collection, all is not what it seems. "It was about taking glamorous elements like drapery, tulle and the idea of sparkly embroidery and turning them into a modern wardrobe. Drapery becomes daywear, tulle becomes a column instead of a big ballgown and the mirror becomes very sharp embroidery," explained Snoeren. The season's direction into black and white graphicism was reasserted in this collection, which opened with draped dresses in black and white, sometimes with silver lamé interjecting. Then came a softer interlude where shades of lilac and peach on blousy dresses, liquid satin skirts and big-shouldered blouses were contrasted with harder elements like mirror embroidery cut into bows as well as curious illustrations of Hollywood female legends printed as strange mirror images on to silk tops and skirts. We got a cheeky nod to Hollywood, with printed tees with Viktor and Rolf's hand written signature. The mass of ruffled tulle that made for an explosive SS10 collection returned and this time were shaved into unexpected items like cropped t-shirts and gilets with utilitarian belts and pockets. "Tulle is so sculptural and we think is very glamorous. This was another way of using it. Making say a t-shirt or a trenchcoat in tulle," said Horsting about the stiff material's metamorphic properties. The duo seem comfortable with going at an aesthetic genre such as glamour with what was a direct approach, moving away from tricked-out clothing, high in concept and low in wearability. Still there were still inklings of V&R traits that made you do a double take, like looking into their own house of mirrors and seeing one thing transform into another.