25 February 2017

Fashion sense

Still at the NGV and Viktor&Rolf intrigued and amused me mightily. I have only recently come to appreciate fashion for its artistic qualities (despite growing up the son of a tailor). This was madly extreme and playful and I had plenty of laughs. This was catwalk fashion, seldom feasible for daily wear, but witty and superbly tailored. We were greeted with a series of 7 costumes that layered on a living model, one over the other, to finally weigh 70kg and reveal just a dwindled head atop a decorated cone. Then a grey jacket confirming NO and with the most precise tailoring. A joyous Van Gogh girl with petticoated skirt and hay for hair. A tongue-in-cheek model carrying her own musical accompaniment and lighting on a frame above her head. Many displays were life-sized, presumably worn once by a model, but ideas were also presented on articulated dolls with fitting faces. The audience was overwhelmingly women and I guess that's to be expected. I only attended because Megan was interested, but I'm glad I did. This was fun and frolicsome and wildly adventurous. What else? A lovely richly-red jacket or gown (not sure which) with a huge bow that could just possibly could have been worn away from a catwalk. Works on various other themes, like Vagabonds or Wearable art (fun, but not very wearable if the later videos were anything to go by). Towards the end were videos of these very garments being presented. How lovely to see them move, although I was disappointed with the bland model faces, apparently requisite despite playful costumery. A final animatronic doll that walks her own catwalk each quarter hour. And a play area, as if for kids, but mostly populated by twenty-something designers experimenting; good on them. And that final theme, Little Swan, the V&R's pet dachshund. Fashion like this is new to me so this was a great pleasure of discovery. Fabulous in its true sense. Loved it.

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion artists was an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Viktor&Rolf are Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren.

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