PARIS (AP) — Viktor and Rolf are going back to school.

At least, it appeared so in the Dutch design duo's spring-summer 2014 show in Paris which had a vibe of fictional girls' boarding school St. Trinian's.

Blazers with badges came in scholarly navy and knee-length double skirts featured knife pleats (layering is the duo's forte), as well as several looks in a black and white plaid, reminiscent of English boarding school uniforms.

Since designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren returned to the couture stage this July after a 13-year hiatus, there was an optimistic sense that the Amsterdam-based fashion house was trying to revitalize itself after playing it safe in recent seasons.

The couture show was a welcome return to the experimental creations that originally made their name, featuring black architectural shapes that locked together to form a shadowy abstract landscape.

Sadly, instead of moving on their couture musings, Saturday's show not only went back to school, but brought them back to where they were last year.

The best looks in the show were ones that captured this abstract mood they so excel at: Like one deceptively simple white bustier dress, with folded, almost origami-like pleats, giving it a shard-like jagged silhouette.

This fantastic, abstract shape was almost certainly not to be found in the wardrobe of Britney Spears, whose school-girl hit "Baby One More Time" featured in the show soundtrack.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at


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