In his show notes for the very first Viktor&Rolf Haute Couture show in January 1998, the late Richard Martin, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wrote:
“(…) Viktor&Rolf pose clothing and they form ideas. Viktor&Rolf’s presentation mingles statue and runway, letting us see both the living statue of a fine-arts identity and the animation of a couture showing.”
For Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2015, the house of Viktor&Rolf reaffirms the roots as mapped out by Richard Martin 17 years ago. More than ever true to their core, fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren use a mingling of fashion and art as a means of expression, presenting a collection of wearable art.
Art comes to life in a gallery of surreal proportions. A dress transforms into an artwork, back into a dress and into an artwork again. Poetry becomes reality, morphing back into fantasy.
Action painting meets Baroque. Paint is splattered – canvas is smashed. Cracked textile frames unleash the silhouette and create a voluminous bend of reality. Intricate motifs parade the catwalk, transforming Golden Age paintings with the rawness and spontaneity of action painting. The painterly gesture is achieved through trompe l’oeil techniques: each artwork is executed in a complex layering of laser-cut jacquards, embroideries and appliqués.
Horsting and Snoeren take the stage and transform the Mezzanine of the Palais de Tokyo with a procession led by the sound of Henrik Schwarz’ melodic soundtrack.
Recognizing the artistry behind the collection, renowned art collector Han Nefkens and longstanding collaborator of Viktor&Rolf acquired an Haute Couture art piece after the collection was shown in Paris on July 8th, 2015, which will be donated to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.