When do you know you’re at the final cut?
Only when you’re good and done, replied Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren through a spring couture collection titled “Viktor & Rolf Scissorhands.”
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“It has to do with the desire to always go further,” Horsting said backstage. Even when you get to 30 years — and counting — staying relevant is about being irreverent and having a bit of a punk attitude toward one’s work.
“We wanted to make looks that are signature Viktor & Rolf — whatever that is — but not make them too holy,” said Snoeren.
But they sure made those pieces holey.
Each set of what they described as seven mini-shows rather than a 28-look continuum started with an impeccable version of silhouettes the design duo has explored throughout the years.
There was a stately coat cut from a satin duchess so thick the collar stood up on its own; a demure square-necked tiered ruffle dress; their sharply tailored suit, and gowns, including a frothy tulle confection.
Transformations started easily enough with irregular shapes sliced into the initial look, exposing a blush-hued structure underneath. By the third iteration, a ruffle had been turned into a sculptural bolero, a minidress was all that remained of a suit and that tulle gown was surreally defying gravity.
On paper, this sounds like it could have included a performance of them hacking and slashing away in front of the audience. Not quite.
While they went “spontaneous and in the moment” on the toiles, hearing them explain the hand-finished process of turning these gestures into the finished designs was enthralling.
As Horsting and Snoeren gear up for the Feb. 23 debut of their “Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Statements” exhibition at the Kunsthalle München museum in Munich, Germany, this witty and precise display was a reminder that they are a cut above most.
Launch Gallery: Viktor & Rolf Couture Spring 2024
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