If the all-in-one bed dress or trenchcoat with a three-dimensional “NO” emerging from it from Wednesday’s Viktor & Rolf Fall 2018 Couture collection look familiar, its because you’ve already seen them. Well, a version of them, anyway. To mark the brand’s 25th anniversary, Dutch designer duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren decided to revisit 25 of the brand’s most iconic looks from past collections and fully white-wash them.
The Swarovski crystal-encrusted offering entitled “Immaculate Collection” was not in chronological order. Instead, it opened with a look inspired by the Spring 1999 “Blacklight” collection (which they admit is their favorite), while the remake of their very first (award-winning) collection in 1993, a voluminous, high-necked, tattered gown, emerged 21 looks into the show. Other conceptual pieces fans might recall from the archives include a tulle dress punctuated with ginormous holes, and a mountainous cape coat from the “Russian Doll” Fall 1999 couture show, which is currently on display in the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The celebratory collection accompanies a summer exhibition showing at the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, titled “Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years.” Curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, the exhibition displays early and new works, stage costumes like the bubblegum pink baby doll dress with ruff collar worn by Madonna at Miami Art Basel, and some 60 couture pieces.
Horsting and Snoeren met while studying at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design and immediately began working together after graduation. “We started so young,” the designers told Vogue Arabia in the June 2018 issue. “We were always thinking about the next five years and what we wanted to achieve; at a certain moment it became overwhelming. It made me realize that I didn’t want to think about the next 25 years. It makes me unhappy. We want to be grateful for now. We hope it will last.” There’s no reason it won’t.