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Design Society Spring 2022 Exhibition Highlight: Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!
April 29 @ 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Launching in Spring 2022, Shenzhen’s Design Society will debut the first retrospective exhibition of the internationally renowned fashion artists Viktor&Rolf in Asia at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center. Entitled ‘Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!’, the exhibition has gained kind support from Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou, to open the cultural programs in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Netherlands. The exhibition is curated by Pooky Lee and designed by Nathalie Crinière in close collaboration with Viktor&Rolf. This demonstrates Design Society’s continuous attention on fashion industry, especially after the success of the ‘Fashion from Nature’ held in Shenzhen last year in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum and China Silk Museum.
The exhibition showcases 80 designs of Viktor&Rolf’s iconic haute couture, including highlights from the ‘Van Gogh Girls’, the Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture collection inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings; ‘Fashion Statements’, the Spring/Summer 2019 Haute Couture collection known for its iconic slogan themed gowns; ‘Surreal Satin’ and ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ that explore the concept of sustainable fashion – a crucial touchstone in Viktor&Rolf’s design philosophy. In addition, 24 sets of miniature fashion dolls, accurately reproducing the iconic looks of Viktor&Rolf’s fashion shows, are having their first tour in China.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren – internationally known as Viktor&Rolf – are considered as avant- garde fashion artists who believe in the power of transformation. They constantly evolve and expand the boundaries of their designs since the first collection Hyères in 1993 (named after the top fashion competition in France). Their work has been an attempt to create a provocative couture with conceptual glamour by combining pioneering design concepts with artistic practices such as performance and installation arts. The duo has also responded to the increasing commercialization of the fashion industry with a careful and independent attitude, provoking a reflection on fashion cultures and demonstrating their rich creative energy and artistry.
The exhibition is arranged into 7 sections:
1. The Iconic: ‘The Immaculate Collection’, the Autumn/Winter 2018 Haute Couture collection, which makes its public debut in the exhibition, is made by Viktor&Rolf to commemorate their 25th anniversary in the fashion industry. The designer’s past silhouettes were recreated in this collection in a brand new all-white color-way, helping the viewers focus on the innovative shapes and constructions of the garments.
2. Wearable Art: Exploring the multi-possibilities between fashion and artistic expressions using clothing as a medium of Viktor&Rolf, the section features collections including ‘Zen Garden’, ‘Van Gogh Girls’, ‘Performance of Sculptures’, and ‘Wearable Art’.
3. Doubles: The use of mirrors as a key component of the exhibition design serves as the metaphor for Viktor&Rolf’s preference for replicating specific themes and elements to create a particular vision as demonstrated in collections such as ‘One Woman Show’ and ‘Change’ in this section.
4. Camp: Viktor&Rolf’s most exaggerated, humorous, and theatrical fashion statement creations are on display in a stage-like installation, including the iconic ‘Fashion Statements’ collection, ‘The New Royals’, and ‘Red Carpet Dressing’ that explores the contemporary public’s emotional obsessions.
5. House of Dolls explores Viktor&Rolf’s fascination with doll imagery and displays doll-inspired Haute Couture collections ‘Action Dolls’, as well as miniature fashion dolls that replicate the iconic fashion looks by Viktor&Rolf from 1993 to present.
6. Conscious Design: Viktor&Rolf’s sustainable fashion practice is highlighted in this section. These environmentally friendly creations are reflected in the collections including ‘Surreal Satin’, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, and ‘Vagabonds’.
7. Viktor&Rolf in Editorials :showcases how the duo’s creations are interpreted through the lenses of a variety of image-makers including Arthur Elgort, Chen Man, Koen Hauser.