Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists is presented at the National Gallery of Victoria until February 2017. It’s the first time an Australian institution showcases the work of the celebrated Dutch designers who recently launched their amazing Bridal Fall 2017 collection (image below).
The exhibition, coincides with the label’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 2017, and is curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, organiser of the blockbuster exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, presented at the NGV in 2014–15.
Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists highlights the duo’s constant exploration of what they call ‘wearable art’. It traces V&R’s unique inspiration and explores the designers’ vivid dialogue with art. The show features 40 signature garments drawn from the Viktor & Rolf archive as well as museum collections in the Netherlands.
Alongside the haute couture and ready-to-wear collections and early installations, displayed throughout two fashion galleries are 21 dolls, traditionally handmade by a Belgian doll maker each wearing an intricately crafted miniaturised version of a key collection work. It is a replication of the display of The House of Viktor & Rolf presented in 2008, at the Barbican Art Gallery, London.
Highlights include a stunning video gallery of runway footage, illustrating the complexity of Viktor & Rolf’s runway shows, which are often likened to performance art (remember the performances of Tori Amos and Roisin Murphy?), and experience the mesmerising and intriguing Timepiece installation, specially commissioned for the exhibition. Inspired by Vagabonds, Viktor & Rolf’s most recent haute couture collection, this fantastical work contrasts the antiquated charm of a porcelain doll with the sophistication of twenty-first century animatronics.