MILAN--Before the models started walking, it was clear Henrik Vibskov's Spring/Summer 2011 collection was set in a kind of post-apocalyptic world. Eerie music piped through the cavernous studio space and oversized orange looms expanded and contracted throughout the runway. Wooden orange structures that looked like pears topped with racing flags were stacked like tepees in corners of the room.
And when the models walked the runway, they were kitted out in post-apocalypse gear: They wore padded headbands with chin straps and small black goggles (I'm ashamed to admit I'm pretty sure they were tanning goggles), necessary for protecting ones eyes from that post-apocalyptic nuclear haze. Braces, kind of like the ones Forrest Gump wore when he was little, enveloped the models' shoes.
Vibskov's show felt more like a happening or an art installation than a typical runway show, which is par for the course from the multi-talented artist, musician, and designer from Denmark. "The general vibe is dark, but with a built in optimism that lies in the micro-organic life and the efforts to reestablish what has been broken," Vibskov's line sheet read. "The people dressed for this occasion is [sic] strong but humble...to complete the protection and optimise [sic] the strength, we encase these people with emergency flutes, a jar, rope and binoculars amongst others." Mixed in with the totally bizarre "emergency flutes" and neon fringed man jeggings, were some really nice wearable pieces. The women wore beautifully draped jackets with soft lapels, draw-string dresses in neon prints, and loose fitting pajama pants that we saw all over New York's runways. When it gets cold after the apocalypse, Vibskov's women wear thick cropped quilted jackets, and his men wear quilts draped over their shoulders.
Strange? Totally. Fun to watch? Definitely.