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Viktor&Rolf Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2023 presents a parade of dreamy, romantic tulle ballgowns, alluding to the grand tradition and golden days of mid-20th century Haute Couture. The body is constructed, shoulders are bare, décolletés are revealing. The waist is accentuated and juxtaposed with voluminous mille-feuille skirts in endless layers of tulle. Bodices are embellished with sparkling embroidery and bows. The pastel colour scheme is reminiscent of a painting by Boucher or Watteau. With its delicate atmosphere, the collection appears to set the tone for an almost stereotypical vision of Haute Couture as an anachronistic dream of soft femininity.
But dreams are deceptive. The familiar becomes strange, as the mundane transforms into the absurd and vice versa. This collection visualizes the sense of alienation the collection title refers to. A singular and narrowly defined 'fashion ideal' is presented and artistically manipulated to put itself into question. The body, while retaining the ‘dessous’ that sculpts its silhouette (traditionally an integrated part of the structure of a Couture dress), moves away from the garment. And the dress, while retaining its idealized shape, antagonizes, alienates and frees itself from the body in a surreal way.