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

Stylish Rotterdam- Exhibitions for Autumn

Rotterdam never fails to disappoint in the style stakes. With modern architecture and its canal setting, it’s a great place for a weekend break. My second visit to the city felt like visiting a favourite cousin- the lush green parks, clean streets and hospitable locals making it more of a pleasure than a work chore!

 

My home for the weekend was the newest pad in town, and I was excited to sample a room on the penthouse floor of the latest addition to the city’s five star offerings, The Mainport Hotel. Aptly situated near the port, it commands spectacular views of the city and sunset. Viewed all the better in the luxury spa complete with swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, treatment rooms and gym on the 9th floor. Perfectly situated for a stunning view and opening hours from 6.30am – 11pm, there is no excuse not to wind down here!

 

With great sights promised on my weekend agenda, it is only right to mention that this hotel is a preferred partner of the current James Bond exhibition at the Kunsthal Museum. “Designing 007: 50 years of Bond Style” is the definitive showcase for Bond fans. Celebrating the iconic world of the world’s best-loved action man (in all his guises). The style and sex appeal of 50 years worth of films is fully explored in a blockbuster of a show. With more than 500 gadgets, costumes, classic vehicles, props and film clips, carefully curated by London’s Barbican Centre, and presented in an out of this world multimedia experience of the world’s favourite secret agent. (Whichever actor is your preference!) Back at the hotel, a speedboat ride, Bollinger (Bond’s preferred champagne) and his shaken not stirred Martini are on offer. But I would recommend the boat ride pre martini- it really is quite speedy!

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With two major style exhibitions on offer this autumn, I was very much looking forward to the `The Future of Fashion is Now´ which opened last week until 18th January 2015, at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This promised to be a completely different experience – fusing art, design, photography, technology and fashion. Not specifically targeted to fashion fans, or art historians, this is a must see exhibition about the future of what we wear and how we wear it.

 

Showcasing more than fifty contemporary international designers, artists and creators including renowned names like Viktor&Rolf, Hussein Chalayan and Nick Knight to emerging talents such as Ana Rajacevic and Rejina Py; the gallery has been transformed into a present-day playground for the next generation of designers, who showcased their innovation interpretation of the concept of ‘fashion’.fof2

 

The exhibition has been in the making for quite some time and six cutting edge designers were carefully chosen by an international judging panel and awarded the coveted title of The Future of Fashion. These included Iris van Herpen (Netherlands), Lucîa Cuba (Peru), Craig Green (UK), and OLEK (Poland/USA) who showcased their exclusive site-specific work at the exhibition; It is worth checking the online platform at www.futureoffashion.nl for an insight into the creative process.

 

With fashion being such a commercial enterprise in the 21st century, it is interesting to see how the next generation of designers is given a free range to develop their exciting visions and take on the notion of fashion of the future. The show takes us on a journey where they re-define the concept of the traditional fashion calendar. Six monthly seasons and trends have been boycotted and the focus is on well and truly on fashion being fun, exciting, innovative and perhaps not even wearable- fusing fashion with wearable art. The technically advanced designs offer an insight of what fashion might look in the future.

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Pushing boundaries is what the Netherlands is good at, and it seems only right that this exhibition was launched in Rotterdam, a very forward thinking city in more ways than one.

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Once you have had your fill of fashion, it is definitely worth a visit to another Rotterdam highlight- the recently opened Markthal Rotterdam. The much talked about food walhalla, is one of the cities most welcome and tasty additions, offering a wide range of fresh, modern delicacies in beautiful surroundings in a glass horse-shoe shaped arch in the heart of the city. Open every day of the week until 8pm, you can be sure to want a second visit- before or after hitting the local shops- including the newly launched and biggest H & M store in Europe!

 

So if it’s art, fashion, culture, food or shopping, you are after, you can soak it all up in a weekend in Rotterdam, and with flights from City Airport, London, taking just 40 minutes, I know I will be back.

 

For more information check out the extremely helpful tourist board

www.holland.com

 

Accommodation

Mainport Hotel

www.mainporthotel.com

 

Museums

Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, until 8th February 2015.

www.kunsthal.nl

 

The Future of Fashion is Now, until 18th January 2015.

www.boijmans.nl

 

By Sara Darling

Jean Paul Gaultier takes Holland by storm!

From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is the evocative title of the Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective exhibition that is currently showing at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam.

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It is the first time the French designer has showed in the Netherlands, although it has already been shown in seven different cities across the globe; with the Dutch being so responsive to his early fashions, along with the Brits and the Japanese, this is sure to be a sell out.

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Showcasing pieces from his 35 years as a designer, including examples from his most popular, shocking and inventive men’s and women’s collections, must have been a challenge for the curator. With so many memorable moments, seasons, celebrity fans, Thierry Loriot, curator of the Montreal Fine Arts museum surely had his work cut out for him! However been working with Gaultier since the exhibition’s conception and has managed to create a personal, educational and emotional journey through the designer’s life, including highlights and snippets from many of his celebrity friends and fans (and yes you do get to see the infamous Madonna conical bra!)

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Technologically innovative, the exhibition is more like a show, as it uses static mannequins with the original catwalk model’s faces projected onto the heads! Thus enabling the viewer to interact with the exhibition. Cleverly, the roving eyes seem to follow the spectator around the gallery, engaging, teasing and drawing him into their intimate recollections and secrets. With hushed commentary, it is impossible not to step close and listen.

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It’s the realness of people that Jean Paul is very attracted to, claiming throughout his design career, the models he chose for his muses and shows were not the usual stereotypical ideal. Hence the use of shorter/ not so skinny/ tattooed / models in his shows. As a groundbreaker in this sense, his fashion becomes ‘fusion couture’ where anything is possible!

Maybe this has something to do with his fashion apprenticeship…with an affinity to design from a young age, Jean Paul was heavily influenced by his grandmother; Who by all accounts is not a usual fashion designers muse! Obsessed by her corsets, he began drawing his own deigns for girls which got him into trouble at school, but fearless and undeterred, his career in fashion began.

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With such a colourful history to follow, notably as a TV presenter with a huge personality on late night magazine show Eurotrash, in the 1990’s, pioneering the nautical stripe (which is one of his trademarks and he still wears today!) and famously dressing Madonna in her conical bras for her Blonde Ambition Tour. He has become a household name even if you are not a fan of his fashion.

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With the moniker of ‘Enfant Terrible’ his reputation has been fickle with the Press and buying public, however nobody can deny he has been a creator with a vision, and all his collections have inspired generations of designers making him and his huge personality, a true fashion legend.

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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier is a must for anybody with an interest in fashion or popular culture. With photographs, illustrations, costumes (loaned from Spanish film maker Pedro Almodovar), and his samples from his original catwalk shows, more than 140 original creations, from Gaultier’s haute couture collections rub shoulders with his ready-to-wear line, and the exhibition also pioneers a moving catwalk.

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The exhibit opens to the public Sunday and runs until May 12.

Kunsthal Museum, Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam, Netherlands

By Sara Darling