“Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists” retrospective opens in Australia

The spectacular luxury fashion designs by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, are currently on display at a world first exhibition in Australia. After a chance meeting with international curator Thierry – Maxime Loriot, the idea to collaborate and bring their works to Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria was born.

The self-confessed outsiders of the fashion world who came together in 1992 have since gained international acclaim for their approach to art and fashion as something that is nor one nor the other but rather something that blurs into something greater.

In their 25-year career, fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have carved their unique stamp on the industry, with their designs that have contrasting modern and historical elements, romance and anarchy, exuberance and control.

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Known for their experimental fashion shows like the 1999 Russian Dolls show which saw model Maggie Rizer progressively dressed by the designers, the 2003 One Woman Show featuring actress and muse Tilda Swinton amidst a sea of models all dressed in her likeness or the incredible A/W 15/16 Wearable Art show where this time the designers helped the models disrobe, only to hang their garments on the wall and for them to become paintings.

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Each room in the gallery takes visitors chronologically through the collections highlighting key pieces and inspiration. The main room walls are adorned in wallpaper featuring Viktor & Rolf’s fashion illustrations and sketches making sure that their presence is felt in every inch of every room. Upon exiting the final room you are treated to replica of a V&R catwalk where you get to sit front row and watch a dramatic depiction of dolls taking to the catwalk in miniature V&R couture pieces.

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One of the 21 dolls featured in the exhibition. All handmade in Belgium with human hair and porcelain faces complete with the exact make up worn by the models.

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One of the tongue in cheek pieces from the Cutting Edge Couture show which at the time was a reaction to the global financial crisis. It depicted the worried state of the economy.

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The exhibition also featured a wonderful V&R pop up merchandise store with limited edition packaged Flowerbomb fragrances, postcards, books, t-shirts, canvas bags and brooches made from resin.

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For the kids, there was the V&R Atelier where kids could create frilly paper necklines, sleeves and other garments out of paper and be photographed wearing them.


“Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists” runs until 26 Feb 2017. Visit it here.

Image credits: Wayne Taylor

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