Conceptually speaking

Ever since I was lucky enough to catch ‘The House of Viktor & Rolf’ exhibition at the Barbican in London last year, I’ve been quite taken by this pair of Dutch designers. They started their design life as conceptual artists, and still bring a sense of irreverent humour and offbeat intellect to their clothing collections. It is the ideas underpinning their collections which I quite adore: the cataclysmic black/colour explosion that was Flower Bomb; the layered clothing of Russian Doll; the more subtle themed collection based on the Dutch custom of bronzing a newborn baby’s shoes.  This is fashion as high art.  And any designer who counts Tori Amos and Tilda Swinton as muses is all right with me!

Apparently, Viktor & Rolf called their latest collection (which recently showed at Paris fashion week) ‘Credit Crunch Couture’ and noted how the ‘hacked into’ nature of the tulle symbolised an attack on excess.  A collection to express and combat the gloom caused by the global financial crisis, and maybe even raise a wry smile?  I’d say the boys succeeded.

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