The names Viktor & Rolf were scribbled in black onto sterile white (wallpapered) tiles, straight out of a high-school bathroom, decorating the runway for Dutch design duo Victor and Rolf’s Spring/Summer 2014 show on Saturday.
Models paraded to a remake of Pink Floyd’s “We Don’t Need No Education,” wearing slicked back hair and preppy-looking shoes with chunky heels, made funky with eye-catching turquoise blocks of color.
The look set the tone for the collection, which played on school uniforms. The well-heeled models wore ill-fitting blue blazers paired with flared knee-length shorts, that looked like an institutional school skirt cut into a new design at sewing class. School logos, emblazoned on pockets, could be found again as embroidery on white school shirts, decorating a blue v-neck vest, or sewn onto a black sweatshirt made of a perforated sporty material. Silver studs adorned collars, simple short white skirts, and the bodies of dresses. One rebel wore what looked like a tie-die t-shirt made at art class.
In one of the most "bad-girl" twists on this uniform-riff was a black blazer that covered only one shoulder, leaving one arm and part of the collarbone bare. Worn with black-knee length shorts and a mini skirt, the outfit looked like something thought up by a school girl determined to go out on the town with nothing to wear but her classroom gear.
The flared short look was re-worked with perforated panels down one side, playing on the fashion zeitgeist for all things sportswear. But here the design resembled something from track practice on a muddy English lawn from yesteryear, rather than high-tech Adidas.
The collection transcended Tom-Boy navy blazers and became more private school, with a white, figure-hugging cocktail dress attached to a short skirt, featuring some of the collection’s unusual pleating. More elegant outfits for a weekend trip home included a silver-gray jacket with a shimmering checked pattern worn with black shorts.
Viktor and Rolf were definitely giving a nod to prep girls, allowed to have a designer Friday. But outside of school hours, one wonders where some of these outfits would be worn. Maybe it was part of the show for the designers, who love to be theatrical, or made with some of the brand's die-hard fans in mind, who filled the Jardin Tuileries outside of the show, turning it into a colorful zoo.