Viktor & Rolf serves up slogan gowns for spring 19 couture line

Viktor & Rolf has offered up literal fashion statements for its spring 2019 couture line.Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren unveiled their latest collection as part of Paris Couture Week on Wednesday night (23Jan19), with the range entit…

Viktor & Rolf has offered up literal fashion statements for its spring 2019 couture line.

Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren unveiled their latest collection as part of Paris Couture Week on Wednesday night (23Jan19), with the range entitled Fashion Statements.

Featuring 34 gowns splashed with Instagram meme-inspired slogans and graphics, the designers wanted to explore the contradiction between social media and high fashion.

“It’s the kind of message you find on social media, with the same instant feeling,” Snoeren told WWD of the concept. “All these statements that are so obvious or easy – there’s a lot of banality on Instagram and social media in general – are counterbalanced with this over-the-top, shimmery, romantic feeling.”

The show opened with a model sporting a tiered ombre pastel purple, lime green and lemon-yellow tulle gown with the words “No Pictures Please” splashed across the front.

A yellow dress with high frilled neckline and ruffled sleeves was subverted with the text, “Go to Hell” and a large skull printed on the front, and a huge white tulle gown had the slogan, “I’m Not Shy I Just Don’t Like You” in bold black text.

A beautiful pink and purple gown had an American eagle motif and the word “Freedom” attached to the bodice, while other quirky ensembles contained phrases such as “Get Mean,” “Leave Me Alone,” “F**k this, I’m going to Paris,” “Trust Me, I’m a Liar,” and “I Want a Better World”.

A bright green dress with huge tiered skirt was topped off with the word Amsterdam and an appliqued marijuana leaf, a bright blue gown with sweeping skirt simply had “No” printed in bright red across the bodice, and a green number with oversized tulle sleeves had, “I Am My Own Muse” written in pink lettering.

To conclude the show, the designers offered up a frothy pink number with “Less Is More” in green font, as well as a pretty lilac chiffon dress with the slogan, “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come”.

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Viktor & Rolf’s first show smelled like Paris’ Metro

Viktor & Rolf’s first show smelled a lot like the Metro subway in Paris.Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren unveiled their first haute couture collection in the French capital in 1998 and unveiled their debut ready-to-wear line, entitled S…

Viktor & Rolf’s first show smelled a lot like the Metro subway in Paris.

Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren unveiled their first haute couture collection in the French capital in 1998 and unveiled their debut ready-to-wear line, entitled Stars & Stripes, in 2000.

While the fashion stars won acclaim for pushing the boundaries with their presentations, Viktor has now confessed that one of their first runway shows wasn’t exactly pleasant for guests.

“Our first fashion show smelled like the Parisian subway. When we first started, we lived in Paris and it has a particular smell that everyone who has lived in Paris knows … if you don’t have a car and a driver, which we didn’t. We still don’t,” he laughed in an interview with The Cut.

Since launching their brand, Viktor and Rolf have expanded into accessories and fragrance, with their coveted Flowerbomb, first released in 2004, proving to be a major hit.

However, the fashion stars admitted that Flowerbomb isn’t their absolute favourite scent.

“(A pleasant surprise smells like) pure oxygen. I just came back from the Amazon and I had imagined it would smell very green, but it just smelled like the purest oxygen. It was beautiful,” commented Rolf, while Viktor added: “Cigarette smoke. I used to smoke a lot – I don’t anymore, and I recently spent some time with someone I really like who is a smoker and I thought I would hate the smell now, but it was actually pretty nice.”

The duo added that the worst smells are “the sewer” and the “sweat of fear”.

While Rolf noted that their men’s fragrance Spicebomb evokes their friendship, and Viktor said that paper springs to mind when he thinks of his label co-founder.

“I think about us working so I think of paper and drawing,” he smiled.

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Viktor & Rolf create lingerie with Aubade

Viktor & Rolf have swapped couture for lingerie with their latest range.Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who celebrated 25 years of their namesake label this year (18), have teamed with French lingerie brand Aubade on a nine-piece collection…

Viktor & Rolf have swapped couture for lingerie with their latest range.

Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who celebrated 25 years of their namesake label this year (18), have teamed with French lingerie brand Aubade on a nine-piece collection.

“In couture, you think in terms of metres. For this, we were forced to think in millimetres,” Horsting said at the line’s launch, according to WWD. “The challenge was really to scale down the design gesture.”

Bringing their signature bow design to the collaboration, Viktor and Rolf, who also added lingerie pieces to their H&M line in 2006, created the Bow collection, which is available in two colours; pink Bonbon and Soir black.

Laser cut lace bows adorn both the sheer fabric of the panties and bras, and additional silky bows have also been attached.

“We did not know the lingerie market at all, so we dived into it kind of innocently,” said Horsting. “We quickly realised that designing lingerie is very different from designing couture.

“Couture is like a laboratory for ideas and experimentation. There are a lot more restrictions when designing lingerie. But we actually really liked it, perhaps because we are so used to expressing ourselves freely with couture. The work procedure really requires a different type of concentration. You have to think about literally every stitch, every millimetre, every minute detail. It’s very zen in a way, you really have to focus.”

The collection officially launches in January, but won’t be available in Aubade stores until June. Sets will retail for around 169 euros (£150/ $192).

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Viktor & Rolf designers celebrate 25 years in fashion

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren didn’t predict their label would last for 25 years.The Dutch design duo, who helm Viktor & Rolf, began their career in late 1992 after graduating from the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design. While the fashion world was s…

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren didn’t predict their label would last for 25 years.

The Dutch design duo, who helm Viktor & Rolf, began their career in late 1992 after graduating from the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design.

While the fashion world was slow to recognise their talents, the two were well received in the art world, so it was a shock to them when their label finally took off.

“We didn’t think that it would last 25 years. We didn’t even think that we would become a label,” Horsting told WWD.

Celebrating their fashion milestone, Horsting and Snoeren are the subjects of a retrospective at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal, Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years, which opened in May.

Dutch graphic designer Irma Boom has also put together a conceptual book on the pair, Viktor & Rolf: Cover Cover, which is released on 4 July (18) through Phaidon, the day of Viktor & Rolf’s haute couture show in Paris.

“The great thing about this book is that it’s not a retrospective of 25 years, it’s a work in itself, like an autonomous piece about book-making, about what a book could be,” a proud Horsting said. “We gave Irma total carte blanche. We’ve known her for a very long time and we’ve been friends for a very long time – we even used to be neighbours. Her work is so great and somehow, she is so radical, we had the feeling if we could trust anyone, it would be her.

“At first, I must say that when she proposed this, we had to get used to the idea, but we had the feeling that’s a good thing. It’s an extreme statement, I think.”

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Viktor & Rolf mark 25 years with Rotterdam retrospective

Viktor & Rolf are celebrating 25 years in business with a celebratory exhibition in Rotterdam.The Dutch fashion duo is the subject of a new retrospective at the Kunsthal museum in their home nation’s city, which seeks to honour the brand’s reputation f…

Viktor & Rolf are celebrating 25 years in business with a celebratory exhibition in Rotterdam.

The Dutch fashion duo is the subject of a new retrospective at the Kunsthal museum in their home nation’s city, which seeks to honour the brand’s reputation for bridging the divide between fashion and art and popular avant-garde designs. And Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are delighted to have an opportunity to welcome fans into their world.

“With this exhibition we want to present our notion of wearable art,” the pair explained in an interview with Wallpaper. “It showcases a selection of our work as Fashion Artists – highlighting the most iconic, sculptural and bold looks. We hope the visitors will feel engaged on many levels. We strive to make work that is complex, not one-dimensional.”

Hoping that visitors will feel “moved and inspired” by the display, Viktor & Rolf’s retrospective will occupy five galleries in the museum and consist of over 60 haute couture pieces and stage costumes. One gallery is also dedicated to original sketches detailing the brand’s creations over the past 25 years.

“This exhibition shows you that they work in the opposite way to other fashion designers; they really are fashion artists,” enthused curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, who previously helmed a popular exhibition dedicated to French designer Jean Paul Gaultier. “Contemporary fashion in the Netherlands was almost non-existent before Viktor & Rolf. They are the ones who opened the door to fashion in the Netherlands and were the first to gain international recognition. They changed the rules of fashion on how it should be perceived, presented and understood.”

Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years is open to the public until 30 September (18).

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