Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Statement or Prank?

posted by
Filed under: Art Pranks

Viktor & Rolf Dream On
by Christina Binkley
Wall Street Journal
February 27, 2008

Viktor & Rolf"NO!"

Enough is enough. I was intrigued last season by the three-dimensional violins built into clothes by Viktor & Rolf. And I absolutely loved the show they did a year ago when models were outfitted with framed apparatus so they could carry their own lighting and sound systems. It was great theater and, since you couldn't see the clothes at all, it highlighted the nature of fashion shows, which have more to do with the production than with the clothes.

But now we have V&R's three-dimensional words build into clothes - a "NO!" rising up off a model's shoulders and emerging like a hunchback behind. Lots of "NO!" painted on models' faces. And "DREAM ON" or "WOW" similarly built into clothes. To which I say, "Huh?"

Viktor & RolfThe gold staples used in place of sewing on many garments were interesting. But apparently, this had to do with a protest against fast fashion, which is like a protest against fashionable clothes for the poor and middle class - just a little too Marie-Antoinette for me. I share the fashion industry's concern that valued artisans are losing jobs to poorly paid Chinese factory workers, but fast fashion isn't the problem: economics, and environmental and labor laws is.

Some designers - I'm thinking of folks like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto here - create fine art with their clothes, but this isn't that.

It was more like a schoolboy's prank.

Read more about Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2008 collection:

  • Viktor & Rolf Glamour Protest, Fashion Wire Daily, February 26, 2008
  • The medium is the message, International Herald Tribune, February 26, 2008
  • Brightening the dark days ahead, The Star.com, February 27, 2008
  • Runway shows heavy with concept, light on allure, Los Angeles Time, February 27, 2008