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Viktor and Rolf embraces coronavirus for haute couture

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jul 9, 2020

Viktor and Rolf brought their unique sense of humour and social commentary to Paris Haute Couture Week with a collection inspired by the challenging unprecedented times caused by Covid-19, with a short film featuring singer Mika offering deadpan commentary on the looks in the style of a British newsreel from the Fifties.

In the show notes, Viktor and Rolf explain that for their ‘Change’ haute couture collection for autumn/winter 2020 they have created three wardrobes for “three mindsets in extraordinary times of change,” a nightgown and a dressing gown, designed for those lockdown moments at home looks, while the oversized coats enforces social distancing.

The first wardrobe embodies a “sombre mood” with the opening look a blue “man-made satin" nightgown with intricate lace incrustations and a raincloud motif, which Mika explains is “a fitting symbol of the gloom in the air these days”. This is followed by a grey chenille dressing gown with an intricate bow and extra-long sleeves, meant to be “worn inside the home only”.

The final look from the “gloom” lockdown wardrobe is a majestic coat in an animal-friendly, faux-leather featuring volume and cone motif which the brand states will not only “impress” but also “emanate a safe feeling,” while Mika states, “There’s a lot to feel angry about and this garment will communicate exactly that”.

The coat is also styled with a facemask, which Mika notes has “won global acclaim as the smartest new accessory of the season”.

Viktor and Rolf showcases socially distancing coats for haute couture autumn/winter 2020

The second group of outfits aims to signal the conflicting confusing emotions we all experience these days, with a nightgown manically decorated with a polka dot motif of contradictory emojis, while the accompanying dressing gown has asymmetric sashes and bows down the left sleeve, which Mika says aims to “soften the impact of muffled horror”.

Then there is a maximalist asymmetric coat in pink and yellow 'pleather' with glittery accents to complete this manic mini wardrobe with Mika adding that the its “generous A-line volume guarantees you will remain in your own safe zone while venturing out into the world” and that the “abstract decoration of holes and tunnels is at the same time, unapproachable as well as attractive”.

The last three ensembles radiate love for autumn/winter 2020 with hearts running throughout the looks to show “unity” added the brand. The first is a red, black and white lace and satin nightgown, followed by a “one of a kind” bathrobe featuring two heart-shaped pockets in quilted red satin that has been “designed to impart the feeling of royalty,” notes Mika, “and make you feel like a princess at the ball”.

The finale coat in white faux leather is adorned with dozens of glittering hearts to illustrate that everyone deserves to be loved, "regardless of age, colour, gender, race, religion or sexuality".

Mika concludes that “social distancing never felt so sweet” in this dramatic coat and that it is a “fitting climax for this pageant of 2020 couture loveliness”.

Images: courtesy of Viktor and Rolf