Viktor and Rolf Couture Inspired by Van Gogh’s Paintings


 During the recent Paris Fashion Week, Dutch fashion house, Viktor and Rolf, presented an avante-garde collection of dresses with floral patterns and appliquéd petals inspired by the works of Dutch impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh. The exhibit featured giant 3-D flowers and gargantuan straw hats that according to the designers, created "unexpected, sculptural looks that combine abstract graphic volumes with organic elements."


Dress From Viktor and Rplf Spring/Summer Collection: Source: Dezeen.comDress From Viktor and Rplf Spring/Summer Collection: Source:


Van Gogh's vision is everywhere in this incredible collection, especially in his dramatic and bold use of color. All of the fabrics utilized for this spring/summer 2015 collection were wax dyed and block printed by Dutch fabric company VLISCO, utilizing a specialized batik procedure. According to the fashion house," this ensures a unique high quality print with craquelé indigo lines and intense vibrant colors on both sides of the cloth."


Viktor and Rolf Dress: Source: Dezeen.comViktor and Rolf Dress: Source:



Who are Viktor and Rolf?

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are a duo like few others. They met back in the early '90s while studying fashion at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design in the Netherlands, and began working together upon graduation. The fashion house was founded in 1993, and over the years its two designers have gained a reputation for presenting apparel that is unexpected and unpredictable. In terms of niche or category, their work falls somewhere between glitzy-artsy and avante-garde fashionable. Their collections are always fantastic displays; in one case models were wearing their own lighting structures and in another the clothing was presented upside down.

A progression of extremes

Each garment in this amazing art/fashion presentation has proven to be more outrageously elaborate than the one that preceded it. It began with simple and sedate outfits depicting black flowers on baby-doll dresses accompanied by boater hats with straw stalks growing from their brims. Floral motifs, which were two-dimensional designs, are transformed into 3-D embellishments both on the edges and shoulders of these colorful, one-of-a-kind dresses. The hems are all white, interwoven with thick black ribbon, and sandals in matching prints complete the ensemble.


Baby Doll Dress: Source: Dezeen.comBaby Doll Dress: Source:


The hats themselves become bigger and denser with longer strands arranged in diverse ways and woven into progressively  more complex patterns. Hats and dresses appear to merge as one identity, with colors becomng more intense and the decorative fabric reaching further and further away from the garments. The final dress in the collection actually melded with the giant straw headpiece.


Van-Gogh inspired Dress: Source: Dezeen.comVan-Gogh inspired Dress: Source:


The future of Viktor and Rolf

For the two fashion designers and their incredible visual display, the future looks bright. After the show, art collector, Han Nefkens, bought three of the dresses for the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Netherlands. There must always be room in the world of couture for the innovative and the bizarre and edgier elements of modern design. This latitude kindles the flame of artistic passion and creativity, which must never be extinguished.

Closing thoughts on dresses:

Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. ~ Yves St.Laurent


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