Viktor & Rolf on Atelier Swarovski
The designers talk about ditching surreal for real
Best known for their architectonic translations of basics and their fantasy inspired dresses (remember the bed dress from Spring/Summer 2005?), designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have surprised with their Fall/Winter 2014-15 collection by making it far more approachable. “We’ve grown in our business by learning from our successes and challenges, and strengthening our friendship, which is at the core of everything we do,” say the designers.
The predominantly grey line still has some surreal elements – exaggerated proportions, 2D and 3D voluminous knits and digital prints. And then there’s the texture play on cuffs, rings, chokers and earrings, a result of their second jewellery collaboration with Atelier Swarovski. “Swarovski is one of our oldest partners. They always add that bit of sparkle or fairy dust onto our garments and make them truly unique pieces.” The relationship between the two brands is a longstanding equation that started in 1999, with Viktor & Rolf ’s Russian Doll Haute Couture show, which showcased jute dresses with Swarovski crystals, followed by their first jewellery collaboration for Spring/Summer 2009. “Whenever we or Swarovski have an idea, we seek each other out.”
A nod to their Parisian flagship store that is also rendered in grey, the new collaboration consists of two jewellery ranges – ‘Velvet Rock’ and ‘Frozen Crystal’. The former features jet coloured stones, coated with velvet flocking, while the latter comprises pieces that contrast matte and sparkling crystals on metal. ELLE got chatting with the Dutch designers.
ELLE: What inspired your second Atelier Swarovski collection?
Viktor & Rolf: We wanted to give crystals an edge, give them a sense of mystery, as well as play with their contrasting matte and sheen effects. By juxtaposing sparkling and velvet-covered crystals, we emphasised their brilliance and added a touch of surreal glamour. The graphic, cut-out designs provided a textured contrast to the polished stones.
ELLE: How is this collection different from the one in 2009?
V&R: Both collections with Atelier Swarovski have explored new techniques. The first featured a specially-designed, striped crystal to complement the brand’s collections at the time. And the Fall/Winter 2014-15 collection is a tactile experience, with the felt and flocking techniques.
ELLE: Does this mean you’re veering towards more wearable collections now?
V&R: That is true of our ready-to-wear line, but haute couture continues to serve as the vehicle for our expression and as a laboratory for experimentation.
The Atelier Swarovski by Viktor & Rolf collection will be available in selected Swarovski stores worldwide this month.
You may want to read: Jewellery basics with Shilpa Shetty