June 18, 2013

Porcelain dolls and designers Viktor & Rolf talk about fashion as an antidote to reality

Viktor & Rolf

If it ever crossed our mind that haute couture designs are coming from an altogether higher place having little in common with our armoires or dressings, most likely it was Viktor & Rolf’s ultra-conceptual creations that got us pondering.

It might be that we had just seen images from a runway show where the entire collection made its way onto the catwalk – at the same time – on the body of just one model – all at once – to then have her gradually shed layers of items and placing them on other models.

Or maybe we’ve come across some of the Viktor & Rolf dolls. During the previous 5 years’ collections, the Dutch creative duo have started taking a better hold of their most representatives haute couture designs and having them translated in minute detail into little dresses for porcelain dolls painstakingly mimicking every feature of the original – from the model’s hairdo and makeup to prints and textures. They were first on show in London, are now in a Toronto exhibit.

Viktor & Rolf dolls

But the dolls, even if seemingly spreading the message of one of the Amsterdam designers’ most famous sayings – ’’For us, fashion is an antidote to reality.’’, are unable to answer all of the questions their parents’ avant-garde vision continues to bring about.

Viktor & Rolf dolls

So, during an interview for the Wall Street Journal, the two were not in the least spared the most burning among them. They talked about how the theatrical productions they put up as runway shows have often been met with embarrassment and rarely understood, and on how they see it as the result of their having touched ‘’a nerve’’. And to the question we were all waiting for ‘’But what did you actually sell that season?’’ (this time about a collection that, on the runway, had three-dimensional words popping out of clothing, like cartoons) got a candid and, even, surprising answer: ‘’There was a very strong theme of stapling. We did a lot of beautiful dresses and tops [that looked stapled together], and that’s what we sold.’’

Viktor & Rolf dolls

And, indeed, the fame of Viktor & Rolf’s untamed imagination shouldn’t keep anyone away from their prêt-à-porter creations. And if, yet, it is the out there or even outside reality universe that has you fascinated, the Viktor & Rolf dolls are at the Royal Ontario Museum until June 23, starting fall the duo will have the opening of their first Paris store, and are now intensely working on a new perfume.

Viktor & Rolf Paris store


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Photo source: Viktor & Rolf