Put a shirt on with Viktor and Rolf
Starched, rumpled, puffed-up or stretched down to the ankles: that most masculine of staples, a plain shirt, was the launchpad for the playful summer look unveiled Saturday by design duo Viktor and Rolf.
The Dutch pair set themselves a clear road-map for the Tuileries Gardens show in Paris, taking place mid-way through the capital's marathon ready-to-wear shows for spring/summer 2011.
"The shirt is a beautiful, focused, icon that is in itself masculine," Viktor Horsting told reporters backstage afterwards.
"We wanted this symbol of masculinity to undergo extreme transformation," added his design partner Rolf Snoeren. "To transform it into something very feminine."
Shirt-tops made of densely layered silk ribbons had an ostrich-feather look, their arms adorned with cuff after cuff that grew in size like Russian dolls, and the same concertina-effect from multiple collars around the neck.
Long-tailed grandpa shirts fell down to the ankles, worn over striped leggings or mini shorts with thick, high-heeled shoes in lacquered red, or cowgirl boots in red or blue.
Floaty, transparent versions had silk tails that flowed out through the legs of mini-shorts, at front and back.
Cocktail dresses were half city shirt -- ballooned over the shoulder and one side of the body -- and half applique stretch jersey, in combinations of black and white, or black and turquoise.
One had zebra-stripes girding puffed, starched white fabric in bands around the body, stopping at mid-thigh.
And for the finale: a punky rendition of Billy Idol's "White Wedding", ushered in a bridal collection that took the show's play on masculine-feminine to the extreme.
The Viktor and Rolf bride wore blouses puffed out baby-bird like over the back and shoulders, then pulled in around the waist with body-clinging fine lace embroidery, under visor-like veils of rigid white net.
Or for a more purist look, others had irregular-sized starched-looking white panels wrapped and layered around the body, pulled in by a thick, empire-line cummerbund to form a bare-shouldered bustier and generous skirt.
© 2010 AFP