Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years, A Retrospective

The House at the End of the World, 2005 By David LaChapelle Studio Viktor&Rolf, Bedtime Story, ready-to-wear collection, AW 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion royalty Viktor&Rolf, are celebrating a 25 year retrospective at the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam, Holland. From May through to 30 September 2018, fans of the designers can get an up close and personal viewpoint of some of their most famous and innovative pieces. From the theatrical Van Gogh Girls of 2015, the iconic 2010 Chainsaw Massacre collection, with gaping, gravity-defying holes in each piece, to the overtly padded 2005 Bedtime Story collection, consistently taking the designer’s concept of ‘Wearable art’ to the highest levels of art and dramatic haute couture.

Russian Doll, haute couture collection, AW 1999

 

Canadian curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot has worked directly in collaboration with the Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren,  to create a thoroughly intriguing exploration into the various areas of inspiration in the designers’ World. Enabling the general public to view in accurate detail, the construction of each iconic runway couture garment and a glimpse into the genius psyche of the Viktor & Rolf partnership.

 

Van Gogh Girls, haute couture collection, SS 2015

 

In their own words: “We often play with the idea of two people being one, or both of us being of one mind, and we play with our image to express that.” This theme is visible throughout the retrospective, showcasing the power of two creative minds in creating serious art-based fashion and then fabricating these mind-bending concepts into reality. These show-stopping and notable couture pieces by the design duo are now all available for scrutiny at the Kunsthal, a homecoming for the Dutch designers.

 

Viktor&Rolf by Anton Corbijn Amsterdam, 2018

 

Over 60 haute couture pieces from the designers’ archives have been carefully selected by Loriot for the Kunsthal retrospective, including stage costumes created for ballet and operas, alongside special pieces, such as the costume created for Madonna’s 2016 Miami Art Basel fundraising concert. New works from the latest collections, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Action Dolls’ are also displayed for the first time within the retrospective.

Solidifying Viktor&Rolf’s 25 year journey to date within their home country of Holland, the retrospective features their strongest collections, marking a chapter of exceptional high couture work and achievement so rarely achieved by designers within fashion. The fact that the duo have also managed to remain as unpredictable, ground-breaking and art-driven within that timeframe, well, we cannot wait to witness the next 25 years of their creative partnership.

 

Getting There

Rotterdam or Amsterdam airport is only a short (less than an hour) flight from London. We flew from Heathrow to Amsterdam via British Airways and the flight only lasted a mere 45 minutes. A train shuttle will then quickly transport you across to Rotterdam with the metro system being extremely easy to navigate on arrival.

 

Accommodation

The 5 star Design hotel, Mainport is offering a Viktor & Rolf Hotel package for visitors of the Kunsthal. Upgrade your visit to the exhibition by booking the V&R hotel package, which includes a City XL room, entrance to the Kunsthal ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’, a signed catalogue of Viktor&Rolf, a poster, the champagne breakfast buffet on the relaxing riverside terrace, cocktail bar, rooftop swimming pool, gym & sauna. Mainport is ideally located at the shores of the Maas in the city centre and it’s then only a short walk or metro journey into the town centre.

Book here: www.mainporthotel.com/en/viktorrolf
The offer is 144.50eu per night until the 30th September.

 

Places to Eat

Heroine Restaurant

Unique 70’s inspired decor combined with cosy fine dining.
Address: Kipstraat 12, 3011 RT Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 310 0870

Supermercado

A unique concept restaurant & bar situated in a disused Swimming pool,  featuring Mexican & Latin-American cuisine. After the meal the rooftop turns into a dance party for a fun dining experience.
Address: Schiedamse Vest 91A, 3012 BG Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 404 8070

Ayla

Mediterranean food suitable for lunch, brunch, bites, dinner or drinks.
Interesting food combinations & killer cocktails.
Address: Kruisplein 153, 3014 DD Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 254 0005

David LaChapelle solo exhibition in Holland

Good news for modern man: the future is bright. If you need any convincing to pop over to the pretty city of Groningen in Holland, the David LaChapelle solo exhibition should sway you in the right direction. Not the most obvious place to showcase the photographer’s raunchy images (after all, he has a history photographing Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga), but this latest anthology returns to his artistic roots, and complement Groningen’s old town juxtaposed with modern buildings, which nestle on the canal in the north of the Netherlands.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Known for producing experimental fashion editorials, commercials and music videos for high profile clients, LaChapelle has worked with every big name in the industry, and is one of the most respected and in demand photographers around the world; So it is interesting to find that the Gronginger Museum, already owns one of his controversial, hyper stylised works, and is the place he chose for his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

To the broad minded Dutch nation- naked bodies, interracial relationships and liberal religious views are widely acceptable, and a show that comments on sexuality, birth, death and nature in an idyllic, utopian world would appear to be the perfect partnership. Taking over the modernistic Museum (which was redesigned by Philippe Starck and Alessandro Mendini) adds a unique, modern focus to the university town. Situated in a central location on the canal, and directly opposite the ancient architecture of the train station it offers a juxtaposition of eras, but this is something that works so well in Holland.

A bit of a rebel himself, LaChapelle ran away to New York aged 15, and worked as a busboy in Studio 54. Immersing himself in glamorous New York disco scene, he got to know the “It” crowd and partied with the movers and shakers of the eighties pop art scene including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is also where he was introduced to Andy Warhol and his infamous “Factory”. Already photographing people, LaChapelle soon gained recognition for his uniquely raw images. Snapped up by Warhol, he became the photographer for ‘Interview’ magazine and exhibited alongside other 80s pioneers Doug Aitken and Karen Kilimnik.

His style emphasising lewd, larger than life subjects became him trademark, and he embraced the flamboyant characters of the nineties and noughties. Celebrities, high fashion magazines and advertising clients were queuing up to get immersed in La Chapelle’s irreverent gaze- where anti-perfection was approved and surrealism encouraged.  However, the celebrity bubble seems to have peaked for LaChapelle, as his more recent work is a much more personal representation of transfiguration, regaining paradise, and the notion of life after death.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Breaking boundaries, La Chapelle uses fine art as a basis for his work and is the first to admit he explores the darker side of reality. Often using props, he is the master of creating make believe worlds where anything is possible. The hyper-real landscapes blend urban and suburban environments to create a make believe setting which is also super real and accessible. This form of art is contrary to what other commercial photographers were presenting, and opened up a niche market for emotions.

In fact, after shooting every celebrity (and their dog) in 2006, he stepped away from commercial work, retreating to an isolated former nudist colony in Maui, Hawaii to focus on fine-art photography and farming. Whether this break was a rejection of the fast moving lifestyle where celebrity photography comes with its own celebrity or it was a time to reflect as he openly talks about his friends who died of AIDS, his consequential work has a more personal influence.

David-LaChapelle-The-House-at-the-End-of-the-World-2005

‘Good News for Modern Man’ is filled with sins and redemption is a deeply personal insight into LaChapelle’s life. With over 70 pieces, the narrative is as jerky as it is unanticipated, yet it seems to flow. Clearly inspired by fine artists Edward Hopper, William Blake and the Old Masters, LaChapelle has a knack of combining the two disciplines -fusing photography with art; Resulting in large scale representations of joy, lust, and paradise which are symbolic and timeless.

Mostly, these works reject the material world and are deeply spiritual or religious, with obvious reference to the greats. In particular, you can recognise Michelangelo’s ‘Renaissance’ in ‘The Deluge’ series. An immersive piece of art which engulfs the viewer in the ginormous seven metres wide span. On closer inspection you can see the sitters are big names from celebritydom, with Kanye West as Jesus, Lil’ Kim as the Virgin Mary and Naomi Campbell as Venus, which might be highly irreverent for some.

Part of LaChapelle’s work is tongue in cheek. Courting exploitation, he chooses religion to express popularity; Nothing is sacred or forbidden and his modern day representation of religious icons brings a new dimension to opinions of life after death and questions the metaphysical side of life.

With a clear shift in focus from commercial commissions, this exhibition displays LaChapelle’s personal and intuitive concepts. Split into categories. ‘New World’ shares his personal search for Eden using thinly disguised biblical references which have the background of his sanctuary in Hawaii. However these pieces are seen more as art than photography as the two disciplines are fused to produce hyper-surreal images which burst into thousands of colours in front of you.

Lachapelle-blancanieves

The exhibition will no doubt question the viewer’s spiritual beliefs, and LaChapelle even questions himself on how long modern art actually lasts. It is a must-see for anyone with an inquisitive nature as the show is not just about the artworks, but is an important slice of history which makes a profound commentary on the contemporary world.

The exhibition LaChapelle: Good News For Modern Man can be seen from 21 April to 28 October 2018.

Head to Groningen for the exhibition and stay the weekend. This up and coming city is well worth a visit and only two hours from Amsterdam, you can have the perfect weekend away!

Jesus is my homeboy

FACTBOX

Gronginger Museum

*Hotel*

A pretty, listed 4star hotel,  dating back to the 15th century.

NH Groningen Hotel de Ville

Oude Boteringestraat 43-45, 9712 GD Groningen

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*Canal Trip*

The perfect way to see the city without walking across the cobbles.

Rondvaartbedrijf Kool

Stationsweg 1012, 9726 AZ Groningen

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*Restaurant*

Delicious, healthy modern cuisine. Open late, but must book.

Brasserie  Midi

Folkingestraat 42, Groningen

EDITORS PICK FOR SUMMER ’16

holland st

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