Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren titled this collection Fashion Statements. “To what extent can you say something with clothing, literally,” they said backstage. Their studio had imagined 18 outstanding, outsize dresses constructed entirely in brightly hued tulle: some with puffed sleeves, others with tiered skirts, all very colorful and very voluminous. And, well, each creation spoke for itself.
Who were these ingenues with their Rapunzel hair meant to embody? I am my own muse, said the one in solid green. Is fashion overrated? Less is more, replied the extra-wide one in gradient pink and blue. What is your position on climate change? Give a damn, declared the one in white trimmed in white and fluorescent green. Will you watch the Super Bowl? No, exclaimed the one in striped blue.
Naturally, with their characteristic monotone, the designers said they were not imposing any meaning, inviting us to arrive at our own readings. One impression was that such exaggerated volumes, while familiar territory for Horsting and Snoeren, could be a visual metaphor for the noise of likes in the virtual world, where these language memes live (Snoeren seemed pleased with this idea). What’s more, there was no mistaking these creations for actual slogan T-shirts or variations on the infamous Melania Trump jacket. All the assorted typography and graphic design—the text as well as the eagle head, the skull, the candy hearts, and so forth—resulted from layers of additional tulle. Trite sentiments backed up by technical prowess.
This isn’t the first time that high fashion has taken inspiration from the Instagram generation; one only need look so far as Vetements’ seemingly endless trolling of the industry with their takes on viral pop culture or Maison Margiela’s selfie stick shoes to see the Internet’s influence.
As might be expected, the flashy and playful designs resonated with the very demographic that inspired it, with many taking to the Internet to sound off on what their favorite looks — and slogans — from the pithy and beautiful collection were. While some had jokes, others found that the messages resonated with them a little too much. One thing was for certain, however — there was definitely a gown for every mood
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