It’s couture time in Paris and although the coronavirus has put a halt to in-person fashion shows, designers’ creative spirit continues to shine. Viktor and Rolf’s fashion film, titled “Change” is a sharp and ironic comment of this uncertain and stressful moment in time. It’s a fitting title for the precariousness of fashion’s future and the normalcy of life after this unimaginable pandemic. But the Dutch duo’s take on the current state of affairs is humorous and may put a smile on teeth-clenched faces—for at least the duration of the show. It sure made me smile.
We are told to look on the bright side, to turn a negative into a positive, to find the silver lining. And certainly, there are many positives to the lock-down, but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine and V&R doesn’t shy away from the truth of our current predicament but are refecting the undercurrent of anxiety in our society. The show is narrated with an ironic tone— like a 1940’s or 50’s fashion show. Comments like “a panoply of gloom” are used to describe a look—you can’t help but chuckle as you watch the earnestness of the models as they wear some of these silly looks.
The show starts off with an empire-waist slip dress with rainclouds, “to express the anger and gloom that everyone is feeling”—well, isn’t that the truth? The social media dress, covered with emojis, critiques the “conflicting stability of social media”, the narrator states—uhh, yeah. The show uses clothing as a vehicle to express social commentary. Each of the 9 lounge-wear inspired looks goes beyond pure adornment and deftly achieves art’s job—to document and comment on social and political issues.
In the end, V&R concludes with ” change is necessary and love conquers all,” as well as “the world around us is changing rapidly, whether it’s the apocalypse or new spiritual era.” Yes, we need to hear that life is about change and love is a constant, and in the end, we will be alright.
There are times when we think our worlds are as small as our geographic neighborhood. Different realities exist by location. V&R’s digital show is evidence that our experiences and anxieties are collective and universal which is comforting in itself so watch it for a moment of relief from the worries of our times.
Read Vogue’s Review below: