Viktor & Rolf turns Van Gogh artworks
into sculptural haute-couture garments

| 9 comments

The expressive landscapes of Vincent van Gogh provided the visual cues for giant 3D flowers and enormous straw hats in Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf's Spring Summer 2015 haute-couture collection (+ slideshow).

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

During the Paris Fashion Week show yesterday, Viktor & Rolf presented A-line dresses with floral patterns and appliquéd petals that were inspired by the Dutch impressionist's paintings.



Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

"The essence of the countryside is translated into unexpected, sculptural looks that combine abstract graphic volumes with organic elements," said the designers.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

The show began with the most demure outfits, featuring black flowers outlined on white babydoll dresses. These were worn with straw boater hats with stalks extended from their brims.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

Every outfit shown in the Van Gogh Girls collection was more elaborate than the one before, with silhouettes becoming more dramatic and pastel tones introduced.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

The hats also gained size and volume, with longer strands arranged into different splayed forms or woven into intricate patterns.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

Gradually the two-dimensional flower motifs were turned into 3D adornments on the edges and shoulders of the dresses.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

For one design, the dark outlines extended out of the skirt into a delicate open lace that joined the horizontal lengths of straw emanating from the hat.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

The headgear and dresses continued to merge, as colours became more intense and the decorative fabric flowers reached further from the garments.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

White hems interwoven with thick black ribbon accompanied the floral embellishments, paired with sandals in matching prints.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

Bright summer hues gave way to earthy autumnal tones, culminating in a final look where the dress itself curved out to become integrated with the giant straw headpiece.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

All of the fabrics were wax-dyed and block-printed using a batik technique by Dutch fabric company VLISCO.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

"This ensures an unique high quality print with craquelé indigo lines and intense vibrant colours on both sides of the cloth," the designers said.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

After the show, art collector Han Nefkens acquired three of the pieces for the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Netherlands.

Viktor&Rolf haute couture Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

This year's season of haute-couture shows also saw the return of disgraced fashion designer John Galliano, who debuted his comeback collection for Maison Martin Margiela in London.

  • James

    These designs are mad. Are all fashion designers on crack?

    • guest

      Ha! Yes, I think fashion designers might have a reputation for this. Have you been living in the wilderness for a century or something?

    • thepixinator

      I was going to say something insulting, but I realized I should be polite and educate people. You may not be aware that runway is traditionally very theatrical; it sets a mood, and reveals the fantasy and inspiration behind a designer’s collection.

      The designs that are purchased by the department stores and boutiques are the individual garments, chosen by the buyers on the basis of what they know their customer will love and be (hopefully) willing to buy, in the best case, calling in advance and lined up to pay full retail for.

      Buyers may buy a whole “look,” which in this case would be a dress, or a pant and jacket, or they may just buy a few pieces.

      They don’t buy the whole “look” in the way you’re thinking of it; i.e., the over-the-top hat, the outrageous make-up, sky-high shoes, etc. The garments may be slightly different than the runway versions, meaning the hemline is not astronomically short, the jacket is a little less cropped, etc., but still reflect the over-all theme, and fabrications, colorways, and silhouettes.

      I hope that elucidates the point I am making; that what may seem like the shock of runway is really meant to convey a mood, to be a fantastical reward for the designer’s efforts spent slaving away over spec sheets and lab dips for four months, to create drama around a collection that spurs sales, publicity, and keeps the buyers going in an arduous fashion week, and to simply be Why We Do It. It’s love of fashion made visible.

      • Jerry Kott

        Having spent some time as a young designer in the fashion industry, I would agree that this is more about generating interest than actual sales.

        Sometimes it crosses the line and other times it crosses the border. Shocking the bourgeois has always been the backbone of fashion.

        The attention aspect worked, the images are being posted here. As they big boys and girls have said, there is no such thing as bad publicity. You can always water down fine wine.

      • Beautifully expressed! Fashion month would be somewhat monotonous without the big personalities and the theatrics. This is what sets the Paris shows apart and keeps the creative energy flowing.

      • Tom

        I’d agree with you, were it not that this is haute couture. These garments will be made to order for individual clients, and bespoke versions might end up on red carpets or magazine covers, where they act as a billboard for the designer’s ready-to-wear collection or perfume line. None of this, in watered down or insane runway form, is going into department stores.

        • thepixinator

          Ooh – you’re right, this is the haute couture. The RTW looks much less appealing, I hate to say. I think my general criticism of people who critique runway as if it was a literal dictate of some sort still stands, though.

  • Sally

    These are gorgeous!

  • Nelson valderrama

    As devote an article to such stupidity.