"We feel like the modern Willy Wonkas of the fashion world."
Echoing the acclaimed Russian Doll collection, Viktor & Rolf created a 'Glamour Factory' for their Paris Fashion Week show with the industrial backdrop designed again in collaboration with Studio Job.
Cartoon-style industrial elements, such as cog-wheels, electricity pylons, hammers, nails and factory chimneys billowing smoke set the tone for Viktor & Rolf’s latest catwalk show, with the dramatic backdrop designed in collaboration with Studio Job (Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel). The overall design references many of the elements found in Studio Job’s Industry collection in which these silhouettes are painstakingly recreated in marquetry.
Viktor and Rolf explained their concept for the show: “We wanted to show that the Viktor & Rolf fashion house is a 'Glamour Factory' where we produce clothes with a little bit of magic. We feel like the modern Willy Wonkas of the fashion world. We need that magic touch in the clothes – that’s what makes it into fashion for us.” Studio Job explained more: “Specially for the occasion, Nynke transformed the (Industry) pattern into a more theatrical, 3D form that reminded us slightly of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Together with Viktor & Rolf we decided to totally wrap the giant catwalk and backdrops with more than 1000 m2 of ‘Industry!’ It was pleasant to see how this architectural scene was absorbed by the glamour of the fashion industry.”
Against a soundscape of industrial whirring and clanking, a giant silhouette loomed out of the background and descended the catwalk – Viktor & Rolf’s first model, wearing a voluminous tweed and fox fur coat fit for a medieval baron. She was soon accompanied by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, and all three moved to a revolving platform, again papered in Studio Job’s print, set on the centre of the runway.
A second model appeared, wearing only a black studded corset and on her feet, black patent ankle boots with industrial ridged high wedge heels inspired by conveyor belts. The duo proceeded to remove the top layer worn by the first model (the tweed and fox fur coat) and then dressed the second model in the same coat – but by using the drawstrings, zips, belts etc hidden in the garment, they were able to make it look very different.
Using a palette inspired by old metals - black and coloured greys - the designers took off the layers one-by-one from the first model and dressed the succession of models who strode down the catwalk. Textured surfaces gave body to the blacks and greys, with shimmer and sparkle elements, as well as bold woven wool textures.
In its way, it was a twist on the designers’ well-loved Russian Doll collection from 1999/2000 where a single model was systematically layered with outfits, ending up swathed in over 70 kilogrammes of couture. Viktor and Rolf compared the two shows: “This season's show goes much further. The couture show was an ode to exclusivity. Its only purpose was to express an idea. This time around, we wanted to show the possibility to be BOTH wearable AND extreme at the same time! A lot of the Viktor & Rolf DNA is in this collection: radical chic in the performance aspect, the exaggerated volumes, the layering, the tailoring and the use of black.”
Once the original model was down to a nude-toned corset, the process began in reverse, with the models reappearing in gradually more elaborate outfits and as each one appeared, Horsting and Snoeren undressed them and started redressing the first model, who by the end was wearing 14 different layers.
The designers are fond of reversal and catwalks in two halves – one opposing the other. The Upside Down collection from spring/summer 2006 saw all the outfits designed to be worn two ways – conventionally and upside down, for example.
Studio Job is also currently exhibiting its Industry collection in London at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Alongside the the marquetry objects Industry Dressoir, Table, Cabinet, Screen and Pedestal, the exhibition also includes two new ‘industry-referenced’ pieces commissioned by the gallery – Wrecking Ball Lamp and Crane Lamp. Crane Lamp is a floor-standing bronze miniature replica of a crane, but instead of lifting a pile of bricks, the boom holds merely a single bulb. In a similar fashion, for Wrecking Ball Lamp, the destructive steel ball is replaced by a single vulnerable light bulb.
Main image and images 2, 8 & 9, photography: Peter Stigter
Points of sale
( 3 Votes, average: 5 out of 5)
click to vote
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2013
- Dutch Design Week 2012
- Milan 2012
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2012
- Dutch Design Week 2011
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2010
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2011
- Dutch Design Week 2010
- Dutch Design Double 2010
- Milan 2010
- Design.nl 100th Issue Favourites
- Dutch Design Week 2009
- Dutch Design Double 2009
- Milan 2009
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2009
- Going Out - Restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and hotels
- Graphic Design Festival 2008
- Dutch Design Week 2008
- Retail Therapy - Where to buy Dutch design
- FreeDesigndom 2008
- Milan 2008
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2008
- Design.nl Tokyo favourites