[by Tanja] Kunsthal Rotterdam celebrates 25 years of wearable art by renowned Dutch designer duo Viktor&Rolf with an impressive retrospective exhibition. Highlighting that they are the living embodiment of true fashion artists.
The exhibition is curated by Thierry Maxime Loriot. Yes, he who also curated the great Peter Lindbergh photo expo last year. Thierry succeeds in giving insight in the symbiotic collaboration between the two men. Observing the extraordinary collections – we only know from their controversial couture shows – up close, is really something else. In one word: fascinating.
Viktor&Rolf – a brief history
Hyères, 1993: Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren participate together in the prestigious design competition Salon Européen des Jeunes Stylistes. Freshly graduated, they try their fashion luck outside Holland as a one-time team. Not without success: they won every price there was to win. How? By simply cutting-up vintage suits and raked ball gowns.
“We didn’t even have a name. When the judges said: “Viktor and Rolf, come on stage,” we liked the sound of that. Viktor&Rolf. Winning these three main prizes gave us the boost to continue together”.
__ Viktor Horsting
At that moment they just moved to Paris. Like true artists, they had barely any money to spend. Sleeping on a mat and three foam cushions, which serve as pincushions during the day. “We felt completely lost and void in that tiny apartment in Paris. We wanted to translate that exact feeling” the two creatives share at the press-conference at Kunsthal.
The outcome of their Parisian adventure was well worth it: thanks to their grand and powerful fashion shows, they became the first Dutch designer duo to be admitted to the prestigious couture club Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Shaking up the somewhat traditional couture world with their conceptual, spectacular designs.
Viktor&Rolf – 25 years on display at Kunsthal
Now, for the very first time, over 45 Viktor&Rolf couture pieces as well as costumes created for ballet and opera can be admired. As are custom-made looks created for Madonna and the wedding dress for Dutch princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau. The one decorated with no less than 248 handmade bows.
This exhibition is not only for true fashionistas. Anyone – young and old – with just a little love for art will not be disappointed. The pieces show an evolution in time and give insight in V&R’s unconventional and conceptual approach. When it comes to form and materials, the interplay of lines, volumes, bows, collars, ruffles etc. their creations are stunningly beautiful and technically perfect.
I love the kids atelier for young creatives. And the store, obviously.
After a quarter of a century, it is still impossible to trace the results of their collaboration back to individual contributions. They often play with the idea of two people being one, having one mind. After years of first-name basis only, now their initials speak for themselves. Go see V & R in Rotterdam!
May 27 until September 30 Kunsthal Rotterdam sleep and see arrangment