NGV Exhibition: Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists

“Couture is out biggest love,” Rolf Snoeren says. “It’s where we enjoy fashion the most.”

Snoeren, one half of Viktor & Rolf is in town with Viktor Horsting to launch Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists at the NGV. Celebrating 24 years of their work, the exhibition provides a look at the psychology behind some of fashion’s greatest couture moments. And by the looks of things, an irreverent take on some serious issues and a love of unpacking the quirky, are behind much of their fashion philosophy.

“Early on, in the first five years, we drifted away from fashion and more towards art. What we were doing was more conceptual, so in order to get back into fashion we decided that haute couture was where we needed to be. Couture for us is like a laboratory, where we can put clothes in content,” Viktor says.

One of the reasons an exhibition like this is important is so we the viewer have space where we can pause to appreciate their ideas. A gallery context like the one on now in Melbourne, for example, helps us understand the thinking behind their red carpet dresses; which are couture gowns made out of actual red carpet. In a photograph, they look like beautiful dresses, but it’s not until you get up close and properly eyeball it that you realise you’re looking at carpet and not carpet-like cloth and, more importantly, understand that Viktor and Rolf were inspired to create this collection as a reaction to the spectacle of celebrities, paid to wear couture, ubiquitously placed on red carpets at hyper-promoted glamorous ceremonies.

Le Parfum is another example of their cerebral take on the fashion and beauty industries, with an installation of perfume bottles that can’t be opened. This came in 1997,  long before their now eponymous ‘Flower Bomb’ fragrance was born, showing an early inclination towards the what and why behind the choices we make when buying beauty products and clothes.

This exhibition is on at the National Gallery of Victoria until Feb 26th, and is well worth a look if you are interested in the stories behind what we see on the catwalk.

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf discuss fashion and art at the NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

A sample of Viktor & Rolf’s sumptuous creations

 

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Kimono-like glamour from Viktor & Rolf, who derive inspiration from everywhere

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Close-up detail of Viktor & Rolf dress

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Monotone Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf say ‘No!’

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Inoperable Viktor & Rolf parfum

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

“Ummm, how do I get the lid off,” Viktor & Rolf?

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Who’s Viktor and who’s Rolf?

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Again, I spy Japanese in this amazing Viktor & Rolf creation..

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

A spiral shoulder pad, like a tutti frutti conch shell at Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Did the original wearer of this Viktor & Rolf gown run into a shark on the red carpet?

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

A lion’s mane of a tuxedo at Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

The famous red carpet dress, made out of actual red carpet. Totes hilare genius by Viktor & Rolf!

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

The sketching, plotting and doodling that go into the Viktor & Rolf creative process

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

More bits of red carpet on a red carpet-style dress. See it at Viktor & Rolf on at the NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Harlequin dreams at Viktor & Rolf exhibition, on at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Judicial majesty on now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Cushion head-dress, on now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Bed head? On now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Pussy bows galore! On now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Beautiful muted colour palette. On now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Lady-like pinks. On now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Umpteen sketches. See them all at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Sorta bondage-y, sorta Helmut Newton. On now at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition

Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists : National Gallery of Victoria Exhibition