If you are someone like me that enjoys keeping up with Paris Fashion Week, you have seen by now the risky Spring Couture Collection created by Viktor & Rolf, which puts a very literal emphasis on expression. The collection, titled “Fashion Statements,” was comprised of 18 over-the-top, avant-garde dresses, all utilizing vibrant spring colors, with the exception of one black dress. However, the frilly looks and outstanding silhouettes are not what is making this collection a social media sensation, but the very clear text incorporated in all of the looks. The designs use a mix of humor, positivity and a little bit of sass, which I think is a brilliant tactic to inspire viewers. The designs included humorous phrases such as, “Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come,” “Trust Me I Am A Liar,” “I’m Not Shy I Just Don’t Like You” and a simple “NO,” as well as some fairly empowering comments including, “Give A Damn,” “I Am My Own Muse” and even incorporating a bald eagle with the phrase “Freedom” in one look.
The creations clearly fulfilled their intention by speaking for themselves and making very pointed fashion statements, using common phrases found in memes. This collection draws from the Instagram culture and millennial generation and really shows both of the millennial generation stereotypes. On the one hand, some of the looks express the introverted, binge-watching, homebody stigma of millennials, shown in social media memes about the generation wanting to cancel plans last minute to just stay in bed and watch Netflix. On the other hand, millennials are also seen as a generation of activists, and are believed to have a fiery passion for social justice. That is what has made the collection so relatable for millennials and go viral, because it shows the juxtaposition of a group of young people who love to stay home to binge watch the newest shows with the same young people who go out to rallies and marches to show their political activist side.
The collection has generated a great deal of social media buzz, with multiple memes emerging on Instagram and Twitter in response. They include clever captions such as, “me showing up at work tomorrow,” pictured with the dress that says, “sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come” and many more. Combining the pure and obvious statement you get when you wear a graphic tee with the true explosion of color and unusual shaping, the collection became an instant Instagram hit, and is easily the most talked about moment of Paris Fashion Week thus far.
What do you think? Was this a pure act of genius marketing to spread the Viktor & Rolf name? Or is this a tacky attempt at trying too hard to relate to a younger demographic? That is truly the best part about fashion, it is always open to interpretation!