Viktor & Rolf go black and white, with few risks

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are taking no risks this fall-winter season.

Following the trend to de-clutter the catwalk, the Dutch duo known as Viktor & Rolf replaced their normally inventive art-infused style in Saturday's show in Paris with simpler silhouettes and a muted palette of black and white.

"It's a feeling of wanting to be real, a wardrobe for women to wear," said Horsting backstage. "And slightly rebellious."

"Slightly" was the key word here. There were some subtle nods to rebellion, like dropped waist lines and short flared minis (a clever play on peplums.)

But at times it felt like the boundary-pushing excitement that made them famous in the '90s was in hibernation this winter. Perhaps they are tapping into their commercial potential?

A shorter silhouette with short heels on boots, which Horsting said put women "closer to earth," worked nicely alongside the menswear tuxedoes. But dropped waists and skirts ended up elongating the torso and sometimes shortened the leg, unflatteringly.

Elsewhere, beautiful three-dimensional effects in fabric were sometimes hard to make out because of the flat black and white. They might have been better brought out with a splash of color.

As ever, though, there were some great abstractions, like their signature bows blown up in leather smothering the torso. Embroideries nicely evoked "rips" on jeans, and featured on menswear tuxedos that made for some welcome androgyny.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP