For its Fall 2020 haute couture collection, Viktor & Rolf isn’t avoiding any of the issues the world is facing right now. Instead, it’s addressing some of the lifestyle changes brought about by a global pandemic — such as social distancing, stay-at-home orders and mask-wearing — head-on, not just in its video presentation for the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s digital fashion week (directed by Marijke Aerden and shot at the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam), but also in the designs themselves.
Titled “Change,” the nine-look collection is broken down into three “mindsets” — three looks each — which are meant to capture the feeling of a time that is frankly (and fully acknowledging this word has been overused over the past five months) unprecedented.
The first reflects “a rather somber mood,” as the narration by Mika explains: “a feeling of sadness and anger, familiar to many these days.” There’s a navy, satin empire-cut dress featuring raincloud motifs; a grey chenille wrap gown with quilted satin cuffs and collar reminiscent of a luxurious bathrobe (“meant to be worn inside the home only,” Mika insists); and a faux-leather coat embellished with spiky cones throughout, which one can imagine makes it easier to communicate (and enforce) social distancing. (The model for the last look enters the room wearing a mask.)
The second grapples with the roller coaster of emotions many are experiencing during this time. There’s a nightgown-esque, one-shouldered, pink synthetic satin dress decorated with a range of emojis; another bathrobe-inspired gown, this one in a plushy pink with canary yellow detailing and oversized bows down the arm; then, another sculptural coat that “guarantees you will remain in your own safe zone while venturing out into the world,” assures Mika, with an A-line shape and colorful cones jutting out down the skirt.
The third and final “mindset” conveys hope for a better future via a heart motif story — seen in a silvery négligé with lace hearts in different colors, a white quilted bathrobe gown with oversized red-heart pockets and a white finale look with rows of glitter-trimmed hearts running down it.
“The world around us is changing rapidly,” Mika says, as the models take their final walks through the empty room where the Fall 2020 haute couture video was filmed. “Whether apocalypse or new spiritual era, you will continue to be able to step into the singular universe of spectacular beauty, unexpected elegance and spiritual glamour of Viktor & Rolf.”
See all the looks in Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2020 collection in the gallery, below.