In a vivid expanse of fabric and whimsy, the Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 collection brilliantly paints an ode to the unexpected. Seamlessly juxtaposing haute couture and a playful reinterpretation of the smallest possible garment, this collection redefines expectations and invites you into the audacious world of designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. Welcome to a captivating blend of innovation and nostalgia, the product of three decades of dextrous crafting and iconoclastic wit. It seems there are still uncharted territories for the duo, who with this collection, have daringly ventured into the intricate world of bathing and bodysuit design for the first time.
Steeped in a history of creativity and audacity, the design team of Horsting and Snoeren has elegantly crammed thirty years of aesthetic mastery into these petite yet exuberant pieces. To quote Snoeren, “we projected all the codes of the house that we’ve been developing over the past 30 years onto this tiny garment“. The outcome? An impressive range replete with signature ruffles, bows, flowers and oversized letters. This collection is no mere retrospective, but rather, a vibrant testament to the duo’s journey, an expression of celebration, a tad intimidating, yet enticingly enigmatic.
Risking and daring is not new to this pair; as Horsting confessed, the smaller design space was a bit of a fright, yet one that evoked amusement and, in their words, served as a “good sign“. The Fall/Winter couture collection unveils an intricate interplay of past and present, ingeniously amalgamating elements from previous seasons. Spot the audacious corsetry of Spring/Summer 2022, the architectural weaves from Spring/Summer 2018, the innovative bodysuits seen in January, and a nod to the voluminous white ruffle of the Spring/Summer 1999 “Blacklight” collection. All these are subtly embedded into the unique design of each bathing or bodysuit, which is itself a technical marvel.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the sly self-portrayal of Horsting and Snoeren, in the form of tuxedo-styled pieces cheekily interacting on the runway. This self-referential humor, combined with the complexity of these couture pieces, takes the Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 collection to new, humorous heights. As Horsting himself stated backstage, he won’t “underestimate making a bodysuit anymore“.
Bodysuits have been reinvented this season, skilfully eschewing the traditional reliance on elastic properties to conform to curves. Instead, Horsting and Snoeren have molded silk organza, gazar or crepe into an enigmatic, body-hugging silhouette. A celebration of craftsmanship and wit encapsulated in every torso-sized garment.