There is no shortage of hilarious Instagram posts about fashion. Fashion designers who inject humor into their work distinguish themselves in an industry flooded with staleness and sameness. During this past January Couture Week in Paris, there was one show that stood out and that one was the Dutch duo, Viktor & Rolf. They are best known for not only their outlandish conceptual designs, but also for how they inject humor into their collections.
Down the runway, models wore huge exaggerated gowns tiered in tulle, with slogans such as “Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come” stitched in enormous letters. In an age when you can’t escape from slogan tees sold on every fashion site, it was timely that Victor & Rolf would incorporate strong visual commentary into a collection. They elevated the prosaic to couture heights which in and of itself is smile-worthy.
The show began with a model wearing a gown with NO PHOTOS PLEASE, ironic and hilarious since the entire front row and beyond were snapping away on their smartphones oblivious to the stitched message. With each successive model who floated down the runway, the stitched statements became more and more amusing. “Trust Me I Am A Liar” could easily have been worn by Donald Trump in drag. But it was look #7 that called out to me, “I’m Not Shy I Just Don’t Like You”. I chuckled since this design truly resonated with me. How many times have you met people who annoy you causing you to be silent during the conversation, making you seem shy or disinterested? And…you can’t run away fast enough from that individual. Now, sporting such a slogan would be a disclaimer before entering a conversation.
My second favorite gown is look #16, which is a sentiment that many of us feel. “Go Fuck Yourself” is a definitive declaration not lacking nuance. And to those who know me best, there are many situations I enjoy skillfully using an F-bomb.
Photos by Alessandro Viero via Vogue.com
After viewing all 18 looks, I immediately took to Instagram to post my faves. It wasn’t long before this post became my most viral to date. The post wasn’t popular because people admire the technical prowess that goes into designing a couture collection. It resonated since the statements which were so skillfully and beautifully stitched on the dresses are universal and relatable. It also shows that in a world of stifling political correctness, having a sense of humor prevails over the “think positive-be mindful-phony baloney.”
My next goal was to recreate this t-shirt. So I went onto Zazzle.com, created a slogan t-shirt and asked my fashion designer, Jamie Kreitman, to embellish ala Victor & Rolf. First I set the text in Helvetica Bold in Photoshop over the original image then skewed and distorted it. Then I uploaded the text to a cotton t shirt. They have many style options which include choosing the weight of the cotton and fit. I chose the American Apparel fine Jersey which only cost $21.46 with shipping because I used a coupon. Once I placed the order, the tee was delivered to Jamie’s studio within one week. From there she placed it on her mannequin and wended her fashion design magic. The sleeves are ruffled in tiers with shredded chiffon to mimic the tulle gowns. Now, that’s a spin on t-shirt couture!
Give me a shout if you’d like this t-shirt. I believe that couture is democratic and would love to spread the beauty and the humor!