OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR MONTHS STEVEN DID HIS INTERNSHIP AT VIKTOR & ROLF FOR THEIR AUTUMN/WINTER ’15 COLLECTION. A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE THAT REALLY ALLOWS YOU TO LOOK INSIDE THE MANSION OF V&R. YOU WORK FOR ONE SEASON FROM BEGIN TO END. THEY WILL TAKE YOU WITH THEM INSIDE THEIR CONCEPT AND YOU GET TO EXPERIMENT ALL KIND OFF THINGS.
FOR THIS SEASON THE EXPERIMENT WITH MATERIALS WAS CRUCIAL FOR THE COLLECTION SO THEY REALLY HAD TO GO DEEP TO FIND THE BEST RESULTS. AFTER EXPERIMENTING FOR A LONG TIME AND THEN PRODUCING ALL THE PIECES TO MAKE THE GARMENTS YOU REALLY SAW THE WHOLE CONCEPT COME TOGETHER.
AGAIN A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE IN A CREATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WITH A CHANGE TO JOIN THEM IN PARIS FASHION COUTURE WEEK HELPING WITH AND AT THE SHOW.
A BIG THANK YOU TO VIKTOR&ROLF AND TEAM V&R.
One way to answer the increasingly hackneyed question of whether fashion qualifies as art is to determine whether it should hang on a wall or clothe a body. This afternoon, Viktor & Rolf complicated the issue by suggesting that the answer could be “both.” In February, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren announced that they would cease their ready-to-wear businesses, explaining that they were eager to direct all efforts to the haute couture creation process. They named today’s collection Wearable Art, which doesn’t really do justice to the exhibition that unfolded within a gallery at the Palais de Tokyo. In a preview, they demonstrated the before and after of their fashion folly—how the integration of hinged frames on coats, dresses, and capes could transform the designs from outfits into artworks, from portrait collars to abstracted portraits.
Whereas their peers have famously resisted the artist appellation—perhaps for fear of being labeled pretentious, or worse, trendy—Horsting and Snoeren seem continuously intrigued by exploring how formalism and absurdity combine to produce something unquestionably artistic. The designers primed the audience with a blue smock cloaked in what appeared to be a white canvas—frame and all—plus polished oxfords. Yet the toile was actually linen bonded to white crepe. And the fragments of imagery that began to materialize toward Look 8 were laser-cut jacquard enhanced with embroideries and appliqués to achieve the blobbed reliefs. The point, said Horsting and Snoeren, was to express action painting in a nonchalant way rather than identify their interpretation of The Threatened Swan (by Jan Asselijn, circa 1650). When a fleshy hand poked out of a warped canvas, a dress flooded through a frame, or a Dutch Golden Age tableau was insouciantly cinched at the waist, their conceptual perfectionism became worthy of its own movement.
All the while the designers doubled as performance artists, methodically unfastening their works from a series of models and hanging them on the expansive white wall. The speed of the installation was impressive by any measure—from tiered gown to triptych within minutes. The final look represented the most extreme construction and most complete artwork—a Dutch still life on a moving model. Its crumpled, splattered, and suspended structure gave the impression of a masterpiece that had been rescued from a garbage compactor a few minutes too late. Thankfully, these creations won’t suffer a similar fate: Venerable art collector Han Nefkens has once again pledged a purchase, which he will subsequently donate to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Except that on display, the work can no longer be worn: It becomes art for art’s sake. And as such, when the time comes, it will sell for more.
VIKTOR&ROLF CONTACT: WWW.VIKTOR-ROLF.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY: TEAM PETER STIGTER
FASHIONDESIGNER – ROTTERDAM
ARTIST/DESIGNER – UDENHOUT
DESIGNER/LUXURY STORE – EINDHOVEN
VAN TILBURG MODE
WAREHOUSE WITH BIG ALTER ATELIER – NISTELRODE