By Suzy Menkes for Vogue

"It's all - every little bit - from our own archives," chorused Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, as if the audience might have found it hard to believe that the tags, bows and scissored chiffon made into puff-ball tops above jeans, also decorated, could really have been made only from fabrics and objects garnered from their backroom studios.

The urge to encourage re-cycling in couture standing up to the ugly face of fast fashion, is having a revival in Paris couture - a theme that I believe reflects the interest in and influence of Martin Margiela in the 1990s.

But Viktor & Rolf did it their way - and it could not have been more appealing. Leaving behind their "conceptual" collections, including the Autumn/Winter 2015 season's intriguing offering of fashion in picture frames, these were clothes that seemed youthful and fun. The duo called them "vagabonds", as if for street urchins from the novels of Victorian author Charles Dickens.

The thoughtful design duo would never have turned to frivolity, but there was something light-hearted, as well as physically light, when models in voluminous top halves, wearing a mesh of crinoline or paper top hats, crisscrossed the runway.


This perpetual movement brought the clothes close to the audience, the better to see the density of decoration, which seemed to include everything from decorative rags to twinkling Swarovski crystals and buttons.


I have seen many make-do-and-mend fashion looks over the years and remnant dressing even in haute couture. But never anything as convincing and charming as this Viktor & Rolf offering re-worked from backstage.

Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren

Picture credit: InDigital