The Viktor & Rolf Monsieur is ready to get out into the world. “Optimistic and slightly surreal” was how the designers described a fall collection that toyed with suit shapes, funnel proportions (i.e. huge scarves that wrapped halfway up the face), and knit leggings, improbable though they appeared with blazers.
The designers’ surreal take on suits is a bid to push past the classics. “The surreal side is a play on the men’s suit and what it can be,” Rolf said after the show. “On one hand it’s an iconic symbol of masculinity, on the other it’s just two garments in matching fabric.” By such thinking, a suit can be a pristine white cotton shirt and pants, or that gray sweatsuit.
For the sharp-dressed man, the duo composed tapered silhouettes by treating elements separately, say with a two-tiered jacket over skinny pants or in subtle pairings of tweed or plaid (a motif that also popped up on shoes for the sartorially fearless and, handsomely, on a tux lapel). Lumberjack references aside, the look is a crisp, made-for-the-city mix of warm fabrics and cool, techie touches such as a camel coat with quilted black sleeves.
“We’ve been designing for ourselves for a long time,” noted Viktor. “Now, we wanted to share it with a lot of guys.” And girls, it turns out. For the first time, the V&R men’s collections incorporated women’s looks. Three, to be exact, all modeled by Irina Lazareanu: a sharp red trench with knit sleeves, a beige silk shirtdress and a smoking jacket. A taste of things to come? Commented the designers, “Our womenswear and our menswear are more and more linked. It’s becoming one world.”