The frocks grew curiouser and curiouser as the show went on.
Viktor & Rolf, designers from the Netherlands, took the cake at Paris fashion week when their topsy-turvy gowns went on full display during the Wednesday show.
A clip from Vogue featured the head-scratching designs, for which the models wearing them appeared to be just vessels meant to move the garments — or, rather, pieces of art — down the runway.
While some of the fairy tale-like frocks were worn right side up, many were unusually askew.
The 18 glittering silhouettes, which are part of the brand’s spring haute couture collection, were fashioned upside-down, sideways and diagonal — one model even appeared to be impaled by her gown.
The juxtaposition of the traditional-looking dresses in atypical presentations jarred audiences, especially those online. Self-assumed style critics watched aghast from home. Some touted the designs as genius, while others sneered in disgust.
“This is crazy! This is not fashion,” one dismayed Instagram user commented.
“I feel so sorry for these models,” another chimed in.
“This does the design a disservice to not see it on,” someone else lamented.
“Haute tortured,” one user quipped.
“You wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you,” one clever person wrote.
“It’s haute couture week, not ready to wear,” another chided the haters.
“The dress that walks itself is genius. They are all technical achievements in their own right,” one lone fan applauded the designers. “Now if only there was a starlet bold enough to wear one at the academy awards.”
One look at Viktor & Rolf’s previous haute couture collections, though, would cue in viewers that this is a cakewalk for the Dutch fashion house, whose frocks have always seemed out of the box. They’ve designed gowns with holes through the petticoat, while others have been flaunted sans skirt.
Defining haute couture as an “antidote to reality,” the designers think of their work as a “provocative” exploration of “spectacular beauty” and “unexpected elegance,” they said.
“Haute couture is our laboratory of creative experimentation,” reads the website for the designers, who have appeared in Paris fashion week for more than two decades.
Even guests of the catwalk played up the bizarre nature of the fashion house, with stars like Doja Cat appearing in campy getups. The “Need to Know” singer wore false eyelashes — not just on her eyelids, but also on her eyebrows, chin and upper lip, mimicking a makeshift soul patch.
The odd look comes just two days after she appeared at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture show covered in more than 30,000 red Swarovski crystals.