Viktor & Rolf show features upside-down and sideways gowns at Paris Haute Couture Week 2023

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

CNN Style is one of the official media partners of Paris Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week. See all coverage here.
Paris Haute Couture Week is in full swing with dramatic runway shows and surreal, lavish looks worn by front-row A-Listers — with an unrecognizable, red-crystal-covered Doja Cat lighting up the internet earlier this week. On Wednesday, the label Viktor & Rolf (literally) turned fashion-upside down.

At the Spring-Summer 2023 show, models walked the runway in tulle princess gowns and multi-tiered dresses that were flipped in every direction.

While some of the dresses were worn horizontally or on a diagonal, revealing corset undergarments in neutral tones, one model walked with a fully upside-down dress, the hemline obscuring her face and her legs emerging from the sweetheart neckline. Another walked alongside her dress, attached at the hip.

A model walks the runway during the Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023 show. Credit: Francois Durand/Getty Images

The whimsical show was a feat of construction, with each gravity-defying garment remaining in place. Images from the show quickly spread across social media, with commenters calling it “absurd” and “insane” (in the best way).

“Couture shows are meant to be over the top, fun and completely unrealistic to buy for everyday use and viktor and rolf absolutely nailed this,” one Twitter user posted. Michelle Visage, producer and judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, commented on Instagram: “You’ll see them on the runway of @rupaulsdragrace THAT’s for sure.”

Doja Cat covered in red paint and 30,000 crystals for fashion show

The avant-garde fashion label Viktor & Rolf, helmed by Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, is known for putting on playful, innovative shows featuring exaggerated silhouettes and high-concept narratives. Their Autumn-Winter haute couture collection included two versions of each look: layered suiting with stiff, cavernous necklines and puffed shoulders that the designers transformed onstage into softer, draped ensembles. The previous season, ensembles with ultra-high necklines and shoulders seemed to swallow the models’ necks.
At the Spring-Summer 2023 show, front-row attendees included actor Lisa Rinna and model Coco Rocha, as well as Doja Cat, who continued her absurdist streak in a pinstripe brown suit from the luxury brand, accessorizing with blue sunglasses and fake eyelashes applied as eyebrows, a mustache and goatee.

Scroll to Top