The Designers Known for Clothes That Look Like Art

The new book Viktor&Rolf: Cover Cover. Photo: Courtesy of Phaidon

Inspired by Balenciaga and often compared to brands like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, the Dutch fashion label Viktor&Rolf is celebrating its 25th anniversary year with the release of a massive new coffee-table book, Viktor&Rolf: Cover Cover. It weighs eight pounds and contains 520 folded pages, chronicling a quarter-century of the brand’s conceptual haute couture.

Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are known for creating wearable art: gowns ornamented with picture framesmassive hats of straw, and one collection made entirely from leftover fabric. The book’s unique construction by graphic designer Irma Boom is meant to mimic Viktor&Rolf’s dramatic treatment of collars — which are often layered — as well as a 1999 collection that was inspired by Russian nesting dolls, featuring a model wrapped in nine layers of haute couture clothing on a rotating platform.

Of more than 400 photos shown in the book, including runway images and design sketches, many of the photos were printed as photo negatives, like an X-Ray, to reflect Viktor&Rolf’s focus on reinvention. Scroll below for a look inside.

Photo: From left to right Peter Stigter, concept sketches by Viktor&Rolf/Courtesy of Phaidon
Photo: Viktor&Rolf concept sketches/Courtesy of Phaidon
Photo: From left to right Emilio Tini and Peter Stigter/Courtesy of Phaidon
In Performance of Sculptures, models were dressed in sculptural white garments mimicking the Cubist movement. Photo: Peter Stigter/Courtesy of Phaidon

Viktor&Rolf: Cover Cover will be published by Phaidon on July 4 to coincide with the designers’ Paris couture show. A retrospective exhibition will be on view at the Kunsthal Rotterdam in the Netherlands until September 30, 2018.

The Designers Known for Clothes That Look Like Art