(jana zielinski) If you are, like me, a fan of clothing designed by the two bespectacled Dutch dandies Viktor & Rolf, you will definitely be pleased by their latest feat. They prepared the fashion event of the year for the Barbican cultural centre in London.
Their five-meter tall house conceals their new pieces. Inside, however, there are dolls instead of models. The exhibition is titled The House of Viktor & Rolf. The concept, mapping their work from 1992 to present, was made by the designers themselves. The exhibition depicts the most powerful moments of their career, such as the Atomic Bomb collection from 1998–99 (whose leitmotif was a huge collar in the form of a mushroom) and the Russian Doll collection for the 1999–2000 season (when the designers dressed their models up in front of the audience, treating them as if they were standing on a pillory). The duo took the world of fashion by storm and is rightly considered one of the most influential contemporary designer studios. How did the concept of the miniature exhibition come up?
When they were starting out as designers, Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren made miniatures that they used to dress their dreams and ambitions. There was also a miniature catwalk, a miniature photo studio, miniature shop windows of their future boutique, and a miniature perfume they would make one day. There was also a miniature press release and an advertisement campaign for their future perfume.
Viktor & Rolf became world-famous thanks to the Flowerbomb perfume launched in 2004. In 2005, they opened a boutique in the mecca of the fashion world – Milan – designed in the neoclassicist style but turned upside-down. This approach illustrates their sense of humor, style, feeling for history, and tendency to conceptualism. In 2006, they managed to sell out their collection for H&M.
The curator of their exhibition in the Barbican Art Gallery is Jane Alison. The Dutch architect Siebe Tettero, who has designed boutiques in Milan, Dubai, and Milan, designed the architecture for the exhibition. There is also a book accompanying the exhibition that was designed by the renowned British graphic studio Fuel. The exhibition is open until September 21, 2008. In conclusion, there is one thing everyone simply must not miss – a visit to the Viktor & Rolf house at www.viktor-rolf.com.