Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years

At the moment both the Dutch designer Jan Taminiau and the designer duo Viktor&Rolf have their own exhibition in the Netherlands – both also with a royal touch. Both exhibitions seem to be a must for anybody who loves fashion and royalty. Anyway I did make it to the exhibition “Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years” at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam on my way back from Belgium. The exhibition is on display from 27 May to 30 September 2018. The exhibition previously could be seen in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

Viktor&Rolf are probably best known by most people for creating the wedding dress and lots of other designs for Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau. The wedding dress and another design are on display – more about them later on – but first some more about the exhibition itself. 25 Years in business is of course a real good reason for this exhibition. Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have been working together for all these years and have created extraordinary collections. “Wearable art” the website of the Kunsthal says, although I am not certain whether some designs at the exhibition are wearable at all. I guess I would have to try.

Surely the selection of work from the past 25 years on display is colourful, quircky, interesting … surely unconventional. Shown are about 60 designs, and 25 handmade dolls from the Dolls series in scaled-down versions of designs. Lines, volumes, bows, collars, ruffles … of course the bows are well-known from Princess Mabel. Their collections do have interesting names like Russian Doll (1999), Bedtime Story (2005), NO (2008), Cutting Edge Couture (2010), Van Gogh Girls (2015), Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2017) or Surreal Satin (2018). Among the designs shown are a garment Viktor&Rolf designed for singer Madonna in 2016 and theatrical costumes for the Dutch National Ballet production of “Dutch Doubles” (2014).

For those interested: there is a catalogue, and some souvenirs can be bought in the special pop-up store. There seemed to be more interesting exhibitions in the building, for which I unfortunately didn’t have the time.

More beautiful exhibition pictures by Mirjam de Vriend.

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