Dracula and Uncle Fester as fashion inspiration? The scary fictional characters are not exactly the first people who spring to mind when we think of haute couture – but avant garde Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf never were ones to opt for the obvious.
These are, after all, the designers who brought us the social-distancing coat, those brilliant meme slogan dresses, and back in 2005 sent models down the runway in dresses with built-in pillows as if they were in bed. In the restrictive and often serious world of couture, Viktor & Rolf are renowned for bringing the fun to fashion week – and their latest show was no different.
For Spring 2022, designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren turned to Transylvania for style inspiration, creating a collection of dresses, shirts and suiting with extreme raised shoulders – a silhouette which references the iconic image of Dracula in Old Hollywood films.
'Dracula is such a powerful symbol of the fear of change in society. In Old Hollywood movies you have the archetypal scary image of the person in the doorway. This made us think of a shoulder line that we developed almost 30 years ago, in our very, very first collection for the contest in Hyères in 1993,' Snoeren told Vogue in Paris.
So it seems that beyond the thrilling dramatics provided by the stiff shoulders, vampire-like make-up, monstrous claws and eerie film music of yesterday's show, the collection itself was meant to be symbolic of the times we are living in.
Just as we have all been hidden in our homes for the past two years, rarely venturing out, this was also Viktor & Rolf's first real-life fashion show since the Coronavirus pandemic began – and so it was only natural for them to reference the changes and fears associated with life returning to normal once again. The message was clear: proceed with caution, but the show must go on.
These are some of the best looks from the collection:
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