Two Kinds of Softness: Viktor & Rolf and Rick Owens



Viktor & Rolf
This season, many designers seem to have been inspired by luxury French and Italian seaside resorts from the bygone days. Before their show, Viktor & Rolf said that Biarritz in the 40s (or more likely the 30s,  pre-WWII) set them making  belted smoking jackets in oatmeal shades for shorts suits, paired with beige patent leather loafers, sans socks. After years of runway hijinks and tongue-in-cheek fashion jokes, these offerings were V&R’s most classic-looking pieces, with only slight tweaks on the vintage movie star-at-play formula. V&R’s chic monsieurs promenaded around the small show venue  as if they were on the main deck of a transatlantic ocean liner with the elegant, yearning voice of La Roux (aka Elly Jackson) as the house entertainment.
Rick Owens

Long, stiff coats without lapels and severe short sleeves cut off at the elbow dominated Rick Owens’s “Monastic Couture” spring collection. Wearing nun’s head wraps, Owens’s monks, clad mostly in white-over-black, had a slightly menacing air. This was balanced, however, with billowy bloomer shorts, which peeked out from under some of these stiff toppings. Owens is a tough guy, but he’s willing to try a little tenderness.