The spectacular and avant-garde creations of international luxury fashion house, Viktor & Rolf are showcased and explored in the world-first exhibition, Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists at the National Gallery of Victoria until February 2017.
“Viktor & Rolf stretch the definition of both fashion and art,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “Their boundary-pushing designs challenge the way fashion is developed, presented and disseminated with masterful craftsmanship, intellectual rigour and an ironic sense of humour.”
As self-confessed outsiders of the fashion world, since forming their artistic partnership in 1992, fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have gained critical acclaim for their rebellious approach to design, technical virtuosity, and deep knowledge of fashion and art history.
Throughout their illustrious twenty-five year career, Viktor & Rolf have carved a contrary identity that pushes the boundaries between art and fashion, often juxtaposing contrasting elements, such as romance and anarchy, exuberance and control, classicism and rebellion.
The duo have become renowned for their experimental runway shows, including their 1999 Russian Doll runway show in which model Maggie Rizer was progressively dressed by the designers in nine different layers and 2003’s One Woman Show fashion collection inspired by actress and muse Tilda Swinton, in which the actress herself appeared amidst a runway of models made up in her likeness.
“We are extremely excited to be working in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria on this exhibition and highlighting the craftsmanship involved in creating our wearable art,” said Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. “It is an honor for us to bring our designs to the Southern Hemisphere.”
Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists explores the elements that make Viktor & Rolf designs unique in the contemporary fashion world. Featuring some of the most show-stopping and innovative works by the Dutch design duo, the exhibition includes over 40 haute couture pieces from the designers’ collections, presented alongside earlier designs from the Viktor & Rolf archive and international museum collections.
Also on display throughout two fashion galleries are 21 exquisite dolls, traditionally handmade by the Viktor & Rolf atelier using porcelain, papier-mâché and human hair, and each wearing an intricately crafted miniaturised version of a key collection work. First created for The House of Viktor & Rolf (2008, Barbican Art Gallery, London), the designers have celebrated each major collection since with a new doll dressed in an emblematic design.
The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Viktor & Rolf and international guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, curator of the blockbuster exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. “This exhibition is a rare opportunity to experience the unconventional creativity and technical brilliance of this innovative Dutch duo,” said Curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot.
“With exquisite craftsmanship and dreamy silhouettes, sometimes made from tinkling bells or red carpet, the Dutch fashion artists Viktor & Rolf have been creating wearable art for the past twenty years in a unique, singular style.”
Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 26 February 2017
Admission fees apply
For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Installation view of Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists at the National Gallery of Victoria – photo by Wayne Taylor