Viktor & Rolf’s theatrical spectacles never fail to provide a much-needed tonic to repetitive fashion week presentations. Picture models harboring their own lighting rigs while balancing on unsteady clogs, impressive tap dancing routines and live performances from Tori Amos and Róisín Murphy. Keeping with this tradition, the twosome tapped androgynous electro-pop singer La Roux (a.k.a. Elly Jackson) as performer-muse for their men’s 2011 spring show. We caught up all three of them in Paris the night before the big day.
NOWNESS: [To La Roux] You look very fit––have you been working out?
La Roux: I’ve been boxing and I’m just learning how to do pull-ups. I’m really proud of my arms.
Compared with the boxing I imagine the fashion fitting is a breeze?
La Roux: Yeah, it kind of is, it gives me an excuse not to be at home training. Today I sorted the jacket and shirt and trousers––I think I’ve lost some weight since I took my measurements, because of the training...they had to sew in extra bits of material for my guns!
When did you all first meet?
Viktor: We met for the first time today.
How did you first learn about Elly?
Viktor: We saw the video [for "Bulletproof"], without hearing the song.
Rolf: Yes––it was very visual.
So why did you decide that you wanted to work with Elly for the Spring collection?
Rolf: We are really inspired by true originals and we thought, because she is dressing in such a boyish way, it would be cool to have her in our menswear and have her perform. It’s only the second time we’ve done a runway show, and we like the intimacy of the moment because it’s a small space: [there will be] only 100 people, so live music will be cool.
Can you talk more about the outfit?
Rolf: It’s a men’s outfit but made to Elly’s measurement: a silk jacket with a little design, black pants, black top… simple, really.
La Roux: I’m also wearing glasses because the whole point is that I’m supposed to look like Viktor & Rolf. I’m supposed to look like a dapper chap, and it’s something I’m quite into.
How does the suit fit into the
collection for Spring 2011?
Rolf: There is a 40s feeling— Hollywood stars who came to Biarritz to be glamorous. What we
try to do with our menswear is to be very dressed up in a very young
way; we feel that it’s when you are too dressed up you get
pigeonholed. So this is our main goal, to see a man dressed up on the
Viktor: This [points to La Roux’s glasses] looks so natural on you.
La Roux: I’m not taking them off.
Viktor: You need protection, right?
La Roux: But you wear sunglasses inside and everyone thinks you’re a wanker. Also, I keep saying just before I’m about to go onstage, “Shall I just not do the quiff?” And they keep saying, “I don’t think it’s time yet.” I’m not ready to say goodbye to the quiff, but at the same time, I’m really looking forward to looking like a 50s male.
Is it going to be flat, then?
La Roux: No, just like a slight quiff, just swept back. This very much goes with the sort of music that we’re planning for the future.
When can we expect your next record?
La Roux: I’ll have been on tour for two years in January. If anyone gives me magical time that doesn’t exist I’ll make a record! The date I’m being given at the moment is September and October, and I can’t write a record in two months!
Rolf: It’s like the fashion world––there’s never time!