We like Viktor & Rolf. We like it when we watch the ready to wear fashions prancing down the runway and we like it when it is couture being shown off. We have to admit though, we have no idea how and where one would wear some of these pieces, or at least most of them, if not all. The line between fashion and art blurs constantly, so that the Viktor & Rolf Couture fall/winter 2015-2016 collection is not such an anomaly on the stage, showing off dresses that turned into paintings or into sculptures as they stepped onto that catwalk. A white canvas was draped on the first model, elaborate and attached to a frame, looking almost as if she got bonked on the head with one and smashed right through. The skirts, coats and dresses all seemed to have a similar theme going on, but one which simply got more complex as the collection continued to be unveiled.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren understand that they are fashion artists, and as such they are allowed to work with all forms of art in order to create the best in couture they can, displaying each piece as one of artistry. The combinations presented came from classic Dutch Golden Age paintings with the raw aggressions showing through, the “painting” created with jacquard, embroidered yarns and appliques. The pieces were so unique that we got wind of news that one of the pieces was already pre-sold before the model wore it out onto the stage at its public debut. Art and fashion work hand in hand, which is why so many art dealers were in the front rows as well. We can imagine something like this gracing the figure of Lady Gaga or another celebrity with equal footing who loves to take her art to a whole new level, setting the bar much higher than her predecessors. Stepping out in a Victor & Rolf artistic dress or dressy artwork, depending on the person’s viewpoint, might just be the publicity stunt required to push a newcomer into the spotlight as well.
The brand has already ceased their ready to wear works in an effort to combine their efforts and focus solely on the couture artistry. Hinged frames have thus transformed coats, dresses and capes into works of art from portrait collars to utter abstracts. We rather do like those polished oxfords though and look forward to seeing more awesomeness from these two, thought without the freakiness of a fleshy hand poking out of a warped canvas. Of course, what is even more interesting is the way these pieces turn into actual wall art in a matter of minutes, going from tiered gown to triptych without a moment’s notice. Art collector Han Nefkens will also be purchasing a piece and donating to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, but that would turn the dress into simply a hanging piece of art, never to be worn again; at least until sold to the highest bidder further off in the future.
Photos courtesy of Vogue