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Viktor & Rolf Womenswear A/W11

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren opened up the castle gates up to reveal a new red army

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren don’t do things by halves and if they’re building up a female army (backstage, the instructions to the models were “You’re a soldier in the Viktor & Rolf army, an army to fight for beauty.”), they were going to have a drawstring door for the girls to storm through, with eerily red faces as V&R’s version of warpaint and they’re going to run the full gauntlet of angular silhouettes to show off their strengths in precise tailoring.

It opened with a strong emphasis on outerwear in black and ecru, in leather with the recurring theme of heightened shoulders with rounded discs reminiscent of the markings of the Welsh red dragon emblem. The Lancastrian rose and red cross motifs added to this surreal crusade, an uprising that required protective clothing for the fashion proletariat. The felt coats, bonded suiting and fur jackets gave way to a final passage of show pieces in a fabric engineered to look like steel with hard-edged pleats that resulted in a 21st century version of armour. 

Dazed Digital: It was quite obvious what the themes were – but what particular references were you drawing from?
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren:
We were looking at Medieval harnesses and we wanted to turn them into a tailoring like modern armour.

DD: Tell us about the fabrics in the collection.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren:
It was a lot of bonded wool or felt. Everything was raw-edged cut as if the fabric was treated like a steel plate, not as fabric so the sewing was not traditional.

DD: What was the significance behind the red faces and motifs like the rose and the red cross?
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren:
It was more for us to create a group to crusade for us – a battle for beauty.

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