Humble v-neck is surreal inspiration at Paris fashion
Models present creations by Viktor&Rolf during the 2014/2015 Autumn/Winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show, on March 1, 2014 in Paris - by Miguel Medina
Resuming their love affair with grey, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren -- whose couture shows are often described as more performance art than fashion -- conjured up a string of characteristically surreal looks.
The pair once began a show with a three minute meditation in the lotus position and their first flagship store in Paris opened in December 2013 with an interior decorated entirely in grey felt.
Continuing their theme for autumn/winter 2014/15, they transformed the catwalk into a grey tarmac road complete with white traffic markings and street lights.
Standout looks included a sequence of grey knit dresses -- asymmetrical, cut away and voluminous -- in boiled wool, and long grey and black dresses embellished with columns of Swarovski crystals.
Elsewhere orange, blue and pixelated prints provided a dab of colour to lighten the palette.
Briton Vivienne Westwood's show, meanwhile, was anything but grey with laser lights flashing high above the heads of the audience at the vast, atmospheric Louvre Oratory while a huge screen spelled out Westwood's name letter by letter in neon.
Drawing inspiration from the Ashaninka tribe in Peru, Westwood said the collection was also a "free interpretation" of the work of Charles Frederick Worth, the 19th century English designer considered the founder of Paris couture.
Her collection combined military green, a reference to the "fight for the environment", which is close to Westwood's heart, the Ashaninka tribe's adornments and Worth's famous tulle, representing morning mist.
Never knowingly understated, Westwood's models sported big hair, big hats and bright face paint.
In one look, a pale green floor-length robe cut away at the front was teamed with a voluminous, pink cape with cascading frills and silver trim.
Big shoulders were alternately outrageous, such as a crimson evening gown with huge puffed black sleeves, and wearable, as in another evening dress covered neck to toe in black and silver embroidery.
Sleeker looks included a dark green tailored jacket and slouchy skirt teamed with a low slung belt and boots laced to just below the knee.
Nine days of ready-to-wear shows for autumn/winter 2014/15 run until Wednesday when the collections wrap up with the season highlight -- Nicolas Ghesquiere's debut at Louis Vuitton following the departure of Marc Jacobs.