University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Viktor & Rolf"


- - Fashion Shows

Balmain’s Fall 2020 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

If you’re a faithful follower of the UoF blog, then you know what we’ve been asking for years… “are fashion shows still relevant”?

This question has long been debated among the fashion set as well. But the fashion industry, an industry whose DNA is ALL about CHANGE & TRENDS, has historically been reluctant to abandon live runway shows and try something new. It has literally taken a pandemic to get them off the dime!

Alas! For this Fall 2020 Haute Couture season, the industry has given the digital runway world a whirl. However, reviews of digital shows for this couture season have been mixed. Many fear that if digital IS the future of fashion, then the economies of Paris, Milan, London and New York’s will greatly suffer. Why? Because fashion week in each of these cities brings many other financial benefits. Buyers, clients and the press, book flights, hotels and restaurants. Lots of lost revenue. Let’s not forget the taxi drivers, Uber drivers, D.J.’s, lighting technicians, show venues, models, and the list goes on and on. More lost revenue.

By going digital, the industry also misses out on the social aspect of attending shows. Fashion week is a great way for fashion editors, buyers, publicists, designers and influencers to network and celebrate fashion. However exhausting attending back to back shows for an entire month may be, watching a digital show at home, or in your office behind a computer screen, or hunched over on your phone, is just not the same. Although there were plenty creative films dedicated this Fall’s couture collections, for many, nothing beats a live show.

Paris Couture Fashion Week was kicked off with a video address by model/celeb Naomi Campbell, who dedicated the season to the “fight for equality and diversity.” Campbell quoted Nelson Mandela and the Black Lives Matter movement. “This is a call for action we are making,” she said, wearing sleeveless T-shirt bearing the words PHENOMENALLY BLACK. “It is up to us, it is up to you to start enforcing inclusion of the multitude of identities that compose our countries,” she said. “The time has come to build a more equitable industry with a good form of checks and balances. It is now more than ever compulsory to include them in a permanent way, and not a transient one,” she added.

The supermodel urged “regular and sustainable conversations with minorities from each country and culture in this mega industry.”

I am Naomi Campbell and I declare Paris couture fashion week ouvert. merci.”


A Schiaparelli Couture sketch. (Photo Credit: Shiaparelli)

American designer, Daniel Roseberry, the creative director for Schiaparelli, has been quarantined in New York City since the NY coronavirus lockdown, and therefore did not have a collection to present for the Fall 2020 couture season. However, what he did do, was present a short film featuring himself sketching on a bench in NYC’s Washington Square Park. The film was dubbed an “Imaginary Collection.” Roseberry stated, “Life today is lived according to opposites; the pandemic has inverted everything we knew. Now, instead of a team to execute this collection, I just have my own imagination. Instead of the Place Vendôme in Paris, it’s been designed and sketched on a park bench.”  Who  out there doesn’t love seeing how a designer conceptualizes a collection?

Roseberry’s drawings featured nods to founder Elsa Schiaparelli that included a shocking pink column dress, a jacket with leg-of-mutton sleeves and a “chandelier” top. The house hopes to show a capsule collection of these designs in Los Angeles in December. “Everything has changed, but imagination, and the drive to create, has never been more relevant, or more profound. This collection is a tribute to that impulse to create,” said Roseberry in a WWD article. “Someday very soon, I will venture back to Paris and hand these styles off to the atelier. We will make a portion of these and take them around the world to share with our valued clients and stylists.”
Here’s his video.


A look from Balmain’s Couture Extravaganza. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Olivier Rousteing, the social media genius and creative director for Balmain, planned a two-hour extravaganza that was live-streamed on TikTok. This marked the first time TikTok has ever worked with a luxury brand. Rousteing used the hashtag #BalmainSurSeine making Paris’ Seine River his stage.

The Balmain crew traveled on a barge from the Eiffel Tower eastward and featured French pop singer Yseult and 50 dancers. A very social media-worthy idea! However, not without technical difficulties. The sound dropped and minutes after embarking the live feed cut out, never to return but by that time Balmain had already racked up about 15,000 new followers on his social media platforms. That’s a win!

“What happened on Sunday was beyond the digital Fashion Week,” Rousteing said to Vogue, estimating that approximately 20,000 locals caught at least some part of the spectacle.

After 75 years, Balmain is showing a new direction. We gave people access to our house, and we showed that we are really French. It was our gift to Paris, the City of Light,” said Rousteing. The show was re-streamed on the Federation de la Haute Couture’s online platform. According to Rousteing, “It’s really hard to just do digital without any physical experience; we are all missing it. We work for an audience and you lose the emotion if you don’t have one. We need to go back to that.”


Everyone always looks to Iris van Herpen as the future of fashion, so it was no surprise that she created a fantasmagorial short film entitled “Transmotion.” The film was directed by Ryan McDaniels and starred Games Of Throne’s actress Carice van Houten, wandering through a modern courtyard surrounded by mesmerizing pulsating lights. Throughout the video were shots of black crystals that magically assembled on the floor and then morphed into the same lattice pattern that appeared on her dress. The film featured only one dress, but was a signature Iris Van Herpen creation that perfectly blends high-tech artistry with old-world techniques.


A look from Dior’s Couture collection. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, recruited Italian director Matteo Garrone to produce a short film showcasing the intricate looks of her Fall 2020 haute couture collection. The movie, entitled, “The Dior Myth,” was based on mythology and drew viewers into a magical woodland journey filled with fairytale creatures like sirens, nymphs, a faun and a woman emerging from a giant shell. It was dreamy and fantastical, which is what one expects from couture. However, Dior’s film caught plenty of criticism for its lack of diversity.


A sketch from the Ralph & Russo’s 2020 couture collection. (Photo Credit: Ralph & Russo)

Sure travel feels like a distant memory right about now as some of us are still quarantining and can only take domestic flights, but in the digital world, anything’s possible. Tamara Ralph, the artistic director behind the Ralph & Russo label, created a whimsical collection worn by an avatar model. Ralph’s backdrop of choice? The Seven Wonders of the World, which added a playful twist to the intricate collection.


A look from Giambattista Valli’s Couture collection. (Photo Credit: Giambattista Valli)

Many designers have been showing restrain this season as the crippling affects of the economy due to COVID-19 have many in panic mode, but this can’t be said about Giambattista Valli. The designer created his frothy, voluminous gowns that were unapologetically grand. He even featured a few face coverings, a nod to the pandemic, but they were purely decorative and not for protection.

Unlike other designers who collaborated with famous film directors and photographers to create their digital show, Valli  personally filmed extreme closeups of his creations with  his iPhone, yes, his iPhone!  He chose as his muse Puerto Rican supermodel and actress, Joan Smalls. “I’m taking by the hand all the viewers around the world who are still confined and can’t travel, and showing them Paris through my eyes,” he explained to Vogue.



A look from Chanel’s 2020 couture collection. (Photo Credit: Mikael Jansson for Chanel)

The eighties are back! At least in the world of Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard, who presented a line-up that was so unapologetically maximalist. There were party dresses galore and plenty of bling. “It’s an eccentric girl with a touch of the Eighties. I wanted something joyful,” the designer said in an interview with WWD. Viard worked with photographer Mikael Jansson to create a show video: a one-minute, 22-second burst of images spliced with grainy black and white footage of models Rianne Van Rompaey and Adut Akech.



A look from Rahul Mishra’s Fall 2020 haute couture. (Photo Credit: Rahul Mishra)

Every stitch, every knot is strongly related to the present and future of an artisan, especially hit by the pandemic,” said Rahul Mishra in an interview with WWD. The designer is more determined than ever to support the embroiderers of India who created his elaborate designs. “Butterfly People” was the title of the collection, as it is meant to evoke nature flourishing without human intervention.



A look from Viktor & Rolf’s 2020 haute couture collection. (Photo Credit: Casper Kofi for Viktor & Rolf)

‘Couture in the time of coronavirus’ was the reality behind Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s namesake couture collection. The duo cleverly created three mini wardrobes comprised of a negligee, dressing gown, and coat, meant to represent pandemic-related emotional states.

They started the video with the fear and anxiety, emotions that we are all feeling as a society, but then the show quickly evolved into visuals representing feelings of love and joy. In the video, singer Mika plays a retro newscaster offering deadpan commentary on Viktor & Rolf’s collection. His description of a spiky coat was part of the gloom-and-doom segment. “There’s a lot to feel angry about and this garment will communicate exactly that,” he intones.

The collection consisted of nine intricate creations that ranged from a storm cloud slip dress to the ‘halo of hearts’ confection pictured above. All with Viktor & Rolf’s famous tongue-in-cheek humor.

Our Favorite Couture Video

At UoF, we think the most creative of all fashion video productions is this one by Dior, showcasing their new dress collection on 37 half scale dress forms each handmade by their expert couturiers and petits mains. Once the preferred design method used by famed French designer Madeleine Vionnet, working half scale is a great way to try out your designs sustainably. Dior plans to take orders by sending these clothed mini dress forms to their clients around the world.

Be sure to check out UoF’s social media channels and website to view our upcoming half scale draping and pattern making series. So very inspiring!


What are YOUR thoughts about digital shows vs runway shows?

Breaking Traditions: Fall 2018 Bridal Round Up

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Bridal Fall 2018 

Vera Wang Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Vera Wang Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Here comes the bride….. and she wore anything but your traditional, classic wedding gown.  Bridal Fashion Week just ended in New York City and there were plenty of show-stopping looks that will set brides apart from the cookie-cutter world of Wedding gowns.


Who said you have to wear a dress on your wedding day. For fall, designers are offering chic jumpsuits, cropped tops, tailored jackets and slim trousers for a modern take on bridal. Take for example Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia, the husband and wife duo of the label Sachin & Babi, this season, they reinterpreted a few of their ready-to-wear styles as bridal. Case in point, a jacquard bomber jacket paired with a sequin wide-leg trouser. This investment would be worth wearing more than once. Here are some great separates options.

Sachin & Babi  Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Sachin & Babi)

Sachin & Babi Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Sachin & Babi)

Lela rose

Lela Rose Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Lela Rose)

Lela Rose Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Lela Rose)

Monique Lhuillier Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of VMonique Lhuillier)

Monique Lhuillier Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of VMonique Lhuillier)



Bows have become a signature theme for avant-gard designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the feminine motif can be found on everything from their perfume bottles to their couture collection and especially their bridal collection.  Viktor & Rolf Mariage was filled with oversized exaggerated bows from a whimsical giant cascading bow gown to a chic jumpsuit topped with a sculptural bow at the bust. Here are some other great bow options.

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shogi)

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shogi)

Inbal Dror Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Inbal Dror)

Inbal Dror Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Inbal Dror)



Sexy, lingerie-inspired looks are making a comeback in bridal and Vera Wang offered the sultry theme in the coolest way possible. In this collection, Wang pushed the envelope with grand yet easy silhouettes – playing with volume, lace and embroidery.  Wang offers a loosened corset reminiscent of last season’s Romeo and Juliet–inspired gowns, and the garter belts were a nod to Wang’s new Spring ’18 ready-to-wear lineup, while her signature sheer dresses were modern and fresh. Here are some more lingerie inspired gowns.

Vera Wang Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Vera Wang Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)



No bride wants to cover up her wedding dress, but for fall, designers are offering beautiful and dramatic capes to keep brides looking elegant and oh so chic. These capes are just as special and ornate as the gowns themselves. Take for example Zuhair Murad, his shoulder-grazing capes and detachable skirts defined his collection. Murad is offering brides the flexibility of changing up their look from ceremony to reception; they also helped Murad’s gowns stand out from the  pack this week, as he showed the most showstopping dresses of the season.

Zuhair Murad Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Zuhair Murad)

Zuhair Murad Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Zuhair Murad)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Marchesa Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Martchesa)

Marchesa Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Martchesa)


Sure there are many unconventional wedding dress choices, but there are also a number of designers who created whimsical gowns with a regal twist. These dresses will transform any bride into a modern day princess. Most noteworthy was Elie Saab’s fall 2018 bridal collection where he revisited classic silhouettes with a few modern twists. The gowns possessed his signature couture craftsmanship with intricately embellished dresses, veils, and metallic threads, for subtle shimmer. An arabesque motif was woven throughout, most notably, on a silver beaded collar floating above the décolletage.  Here are some more regal gowns.

Elie Saab Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Elie Saab)

Elie Saab Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Elie Saab)

Reem Acra Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Reem Acra)

Reem Acra Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Reem Acra)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Tell us which of the wedding looks would you choose if you were getting married, and of course, money was no object?

Couture Takes A Modern Turn


Top left, clockwise, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Dior, Chanel, Atelier Versace, and Valentino (All photos courtesy of

Top left, clockwise, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Dior, Chanel, Atelier Versace, and Valentino (All photos courtesy of

Parisians represent the epiphany of chic. As French couture houses have long created a world of fantasy and beauty that only a privileged few were able to attain, today’s couture explores femininity beyond the ballgown.  The Fall 2017 Couture collections embrace the chance to find the feminine in both high-necked tailored coats, to bright floral frocks. Gone are the days when one style had to fit all – today’s couture is for everyone with the means to pay the hefty price tag.

Couture shows are an adventure, they are fashion fantasies come true. Although a majority of shows have focused on muted shades of grey, black and metallic silver, the pieces are far from drab. With splashes of pink and red, Fall 2017 Couture is an exploration in the space between feminine tailoring and flowing gowns. Just as impressive as the theatrics themselves, couture designers also have an impressive ‘front row’ following and the street-style scene is at its best. Here is the best of the couture season.

Chanel (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Chanel (photo courtesy of Getty Images)


Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to erect a giant replica of the Eiffel Tower as he took over Paris’ Grand Palais for his Chanel Fall 2017 couture show. The set was inspired by the iconic fashion house’s home-base: Paris, as models walked under the giant Eiffel Tower replica that was created to overarch the runway. The collection was a nod to the elegance and sophistication of the early 20th century. Lagerfeld showcased a collection that harked back to Chanel’s roots – reviving favorite textures, silhouettes and fabrications for a truly exquisite result. The line-up featured somber hues of grays and blacks. The first 25 looks were all variations of gray, later leading to head-to-toe black ensembles and for the finale, a gorgeous Chanel bride, all in white. The label is known for incredible accessories, and this season’s must have: The boater hat – each look was topped off with a variation of the hat in a variety of fabrics, from signature tweeds to satin and even leather. As always, the front row included a number of stars including Pharrell Williams, Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, Katy Perry, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rowan Blanchard, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart and more. All looked on adoringly as  Karl Lagerfeld received Paris’s highest honor at the end of the show. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, presented the designer with a Grand Vermeil medal, the highest distinction the city offers, for his work in the French capital. Congrats to Karl!

Chanel (Photo courtesy of

Chanel (Photo courtesy of


Maria Grazia Chiuri, the designer behind Christian Dior, transported us across the globe in full celebration of house’s 70th anniversary. Maria Grazia Chiuri has taken inspiration from travel, maps, exploration and the beauty of cultural diversity. She looked to the years following World War II, as Monsieur Dior traveled with his collections from California to Tokyo, and to parts of South America. Her theme ran wild with an elaborate set design by Pietro Ruffo, dressed with statues of wild animals from each continent. Chiuri embraced the power of finely tailored suits with a feminist bend. Case in point, a wrap-neck jumpsuit in wool herringbone, belted at the waist and with big functional pockets at the hips. She also showcased beautiful coats, floating chiffon dresses and a dramatic portrait neckline velvet dress. This collection was fit for Chiuri’s lady explorer.

Christian Dior (Photo courtesy of

Christian Dior (Photo courtesy of


Less is more this season as Donatella Versace stages a low key presentation for her Atelier Versace collection. In an era where images are seen instantly, Donatella Versace opted for discretion as no-one in the audience was able to photograph the collection. A few looks were even hidden from the press and were only shown to those who buy directly from the fashion house. As for the collection, Atelier Versace showed some major evening looks that were extremely sexy and exquisitely hand-crafted: beautiful and intricate embroideries – all bronze metallic scale embroidery, silver chains suspended in cobweb-like formations, and silver leaf embroideries.  For the first time, the house featured a few pieces that were 3-D printed, such as an intricate scrolling neckline on a long gilded dress.

Atelier Versace (Photo courtesy of Atelier Versace)

Atelier Versace (Photo courtesy of Atelier Versace)


Life-size, giant, bobble-head dolls made their runway debut at Victor& Rolf this season as designers Rolf Snoeren, with Viktor Horsting suggested that “these [dolls] are fighting for a better world” via the patchwork-symbolizing unity. The duo certainly made a statement as they manipulated high-tech Japanese fabrics through pleating, padding, ruffles and intricate folds. Case in point: a giant, bow-shaped bomber. The designers also showcased relatively wearable dresses, coats, and plenty of jeans that will end up in women’s closets.

Viktor & Rolf (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Viktor & Rolf (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)


This season, Pierpaolo Piccioli found an unlikely source of inspiration for his Valentino couture collection – the Vatican. Valentino’s atelier literally sits in the shadow of the Vatican, but this collection was anything but solemn. Pierpaolo Piccioli drew a line between the notions of the church’s sacred rituals and the practice and of haute couture. The collection featured hooded capes and silhouettes that resemble the robes of priests, and there were hammered metal bags with enamel mosaic details in the shapes of animal heads meant to symbolize the seven deadly sins. Overall, the collection was heavenly.

Valentino (Photo courtesy of

Valentino (Photo courtesy of