Dutch fashion artists Viktor&Rolf are highly connected to the world of arts and they have participated in numerous exhibitions from prestigious museums across the globe such us ‘The Metropolitan Museum of Art’, ‘Barbican Art Gallery’, ‘Kyoto Costume Institute’, ‘Musée de la Mode et du Textile’ and the ‘National Gallery of Victoria’, amongst others. On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fashion house of Viktor&Rolf, the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam organized an exhibition in collaboration with the Dutch designers and Canadian curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot. The exhibition ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’ shows the elements that make their designs unique in the contemporary fashion world.
From fashion artists to fragrance artists. In 2005 the Haute Couture Designers launched their first feminine fragrance, Flowerbomb, that officially created the union between haute-couture and haute-perfumerie for them.
For the designers, “fashion” has always been more than only clothes. Fashion is about creating an aura, and fragrance is an integral part of that endeavor. And for them creations have to be «made of love and precision», as it can be seen in their fashion shows.
When creating a fragrance they start by the name, in their own words, the name “smells” if you will. For them the names evoke scents and is the start of an olfactive adventure. For instance with Flowerbomb they came up with a new word that they invented themselves. It was the only way to describe what they wanted: a big, complex floral fragrance, with a modern sharp edge. Romantic and aggressive. Feminine and hard. A “diamond grenade” that carries a floral explosion imagined by its creators.
With their fashion shows they are always telling stories. Creatively they felt very confident that they would be able to do something great.
“Fragrances are such a strong medium to tell stories and ultimately that is how we see ourselves: as storytellers.”
The big difference between creating a fragrance is probably that with fashion and with a fashion show, there is a big gap between what we present on the catwalk and what ultimately ends up in “real life”. Fragrance is much more immediate, and much more complete. So through a fragrance you can tap into the dream, the fantasy much more easily than with fashion.