'Meme Couture' Proves Instagram Rules Fashion Right Now

by: Lucy Jones | 3 months ago | News

Say NO to the dress. Image source.

Here's any oxymoron for ya: 'meme couture'. Meme, as in a funny image or video that goes viral on the internet, and couture, as in beautifully crafted custom-made clothing. These two concepts merged on Viktor & Rolf's Spring 2019 Couture runway where tulle gowns were emblazoned with phrases like 'I'm not shy, I just don't like you', 'No photos please' and 'Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come'.

These clothes aren't really made to be worn, or even to be admired for their technical construction, they are made for Instagram. Photos of Viktor & Rolf's collection did go viral online, with thousands declaring that the dresses were their '2019 uniform' or 'mood'. The meme dresses were also picked up by popular meme accounts.

This collection proves that Instagram rules even the most artistic branches of the fashion industry. Couture refers to the craft of hand-making garments in an atelier. These garments are works of art that are created by some of the most skilled makers in the world. A couture collection is the last place we'd expect to see slogans that look like they've been ripped off an old Supré tee. But that's what happens when the need to be hashtag relevant trumps good design.

"Some might see this as an easy ploy for clicks — the opposite of haute couture, which is meant to be painstaking and handcrafted," The Cut's Emilia Petrarca writes in her review of the Viktor & Rolf show.

"Is this a sign that fashion is losing the last pure, sacred thing it can protect? Or is it possible that Instagram is helping to give couture a second life?"

If this is what couture is going to look like in the future, then we're logging off forever.

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