The avant-garde Dutch duo take on illustration for their new Fairy Tales book delving into their weird and wonderful world
Known for their adventurous and conceptual couture designs, Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf have embarked on a new venture to illustrate and produce a new literary collection, a book of Fairy Tales that provides insight into their beautiful and surreal universe. With enchanting illustrations by the duo themselves, Fairy Tales contains 12 original stories featuring memorable characters such as the lonely Disco Hedgehog, the Little Dragon Butterfly, Princess Giselle in The Golden Dress, Princess Shanilla in The Fifth Perfume Bottle and the story behind the magic of their infamous Flowerbomb scent.
Dazed Digital: Does the new book directly complement your recent collection or is it more representative of V&R generally as a label?
Viktor & Rolf: It was a hobby project we did for fun that became more serious. We had been writing these stories since years and then there was a sudden interest to publish them. We wanted to illustrate them ourselves, so to translate our world into words and illustrations - in addition to fashion design and works of art. It's another tangible vehicle of expression but of a different variety, which we like.
We always play with scale and proportion, creating conceptual and surreal glamour. The surreal element, the sense of escapism can also be found in the enchanting world of our Fairy Tales. We wanted it to be
available for everyone and our friend Linda van Deursen of Mevis & Van Deursen designed it in our signature pink and black. With our Fairy Tales, we would love to bring a sense of irony and fascination. To trigger the imagination and open up new windows to different worlds and possibilities. It's ok to be different or think different. There are many iconic fairytales we love, but none of them is a direct inspiration for our collections.
DD: What is your most favourite fairy tale?
Viktor & Rolf: As creators we love to play with contrasts and wordplays in a similar manner that we do with fabrics, designs and silhouettes. We love language, before we design a collection or make a perfume we always start with text, and we start to visualize it in images. Flowerbomb, the name of our perfume, was for example a word we invented and from which it was easy and natural to work on the scent and the bottle. We do not have a favourite character, we love them equally as they are all precious little treasures to us. Some are funny, some are more tragic, some are deep, they are elements of us and elements of every human being. The message is that being different, in which ever way, is a good thing. We loved fairytales as little boys, but they always had a one dimensional character-moral to look up to that was so unobtainable, straight and cliché.
DD: If you were in a fairy tale who would you be?
Viktor & Rolf: Sometimes the Big Bad Wolf, sometimes the Princess on the Pea.
DD: What can we expect next from the Fairy Tales project?
Viktor & Rolf: A blockbuster movie!
Published by Hardie Grant, Fairy Tales will be available from today in Hardback for £12.99