If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, look no further than the Viktor & Rolf Spring 2019 Couture Collection. The Dutch duo showcased 18 oversized tulle ballgowns splashed with memes to fit every mood at their runway show this week in Paris.
Headed by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the fashion house is known for their conceptual and cutting-edge designs. Their latest collection is no exception. Featuring slogans like, “Sorry I’m late, I didn't want to come,” and “Go to hell,” the gowns, although playful, let people know you’re not playing. The dresses also bring to mind Rihanna’s iconic pink, puffy gown, designed by Giambattista Valli, which she wore to the Grammy Awards in 2015.
The collection seemed to reflect the times with some slogans recalling the #MeToo movement, such as the extra large red “No,” which makes it clear that no, in fact, does mean no. Also, given that fashion is often created to highlight women’s bodies, this collection of outsized dresses was not looking to exude sex appeal. On the contrary, it was all about women speaking their minds, through their clothes.
The immediately Instagram-worthy collection has already gone viral as many have added their own slogans to Viktor And Rolf's dresses, such as Lady Gaga’s worn-out “100 people in the room” from the “A Star Is Born” press tour.
According to Rolf, “It’s the kind of message you find on social media, with the same instant feeling. All these statements that are so obvious or easy — there’s a lot of banality on Instagram and social media in general — are counterbalanced with this over-the-top, shimmery, romantic feeling.”
The designers, who met while studying at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design in 1989, began working together after graduation. Initially, the duo was rejected by the fashion industry, though they were soon embraced by the art world, who purchased their creations for cultural institutions, such as the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
Viktor And Rolf's designs have always included exaggerated silhouettes, innovative materials and bold concepts . Despite exploring both men and women’s ready-to-wear lines, in 2015, they decided to return to haute couture to "explore the limits of wearability, function and form." As is evident in this collection, they are undoubtedly succeeding.