From 29th April, Shenzhen’s Design Society has debut the first retrospective exhibition of the internationally renowned fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor&Rolf) in Asia at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center, entitled ‘Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!’. The exhibition showcase up to 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.
BONAVERI is honored for providing about 73 mannequins to display Viktor&Rolf’s iconic haute couture. The mannequins have chosen from Schläppi and Tribe collection.
The exhibition has gained the full support from Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Netherlands. ‘Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!’ marks Design Society’s second fashion exhibition in its history since the highly anticipated ‘Fashioned from Nature’ exhibition in 2021 organized in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum and China National Silk Museum. This time, the exhibition is curated by Pooky Lee and designed by Nathalie Crinière in close collaboration with Viktor&Rolf.
‘Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!’ is arranged into seven sections. The first section is 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.
The second part is about ‘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’.
The third part is about ‘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.
‘Camp: Viktor&Rolf’ section is the 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.
‘House of Dolls’ section 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. 24 sets of miniature fashion dolls, accurately reproducing the iconic looks of Viktor&Rolf’s fashion shows, are on display in China for the first time.
The next section of this exhibition ‘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’.
The last section ‘Viktor&Rolf in Editorials’, showcases how the duo’s creations are interpreted through the lenses of a variety of image-makers, which selects the image works created by more than ten photographers, illustrators, and artists around the world such as Arthur Elgort, Greg Kadel, Ellen von Unwerth, Chen Man, Koen Hauser, etc.
Viktor&Rolf has been in 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: “Viktor&Rolf: MetaFashion!”
Date: from 29th April to 8th October, 2022
Venue: Sea World Culture and Arts Center, Shenzhen, China
Hosted by: Design Society
Curator: Pooky Lee
Agence NC (Nathalie Crinière, Hélène Lecarpentier, Héloïse Lévêque)
ExhibitingFashion (Yang Yahao)
Graphic Design: Pookie
Media Partner: Wallpaper＊China
Presented by: China Merchants Culture Industry
Acknowledgement: Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou
Radio, Film and Tourism Bureau, Shenzhen Nanshan District Culture
China Merchants Shekou Holdings