The opulent world of fashion can often seem so disconnected with the reality of day to day living. Therefore, when luxurious fashion designers can relate with current world issues an interesting and sincere dialogue can exist between the two worlds. The 2010 Spring/Summer collection from Viktor and Rolf is a great example of this synergy.
The middle of 2007 and into 2008 saw a Global Financial Crisis around the world. Stock markets were falling, large financial institutions had collapsed and governments in wealthy nations were providing rescue packages to bail out their financial institutions.
With the world facing fear and uncertainty it was a trialing time for the luxury fashion industry. Instead of fearing the GFC the Dutch duo incorporated it into their collection. The collection included many extravagant ball gowns that had been hacked into. This left silhouettes of large tulle dresses with round holes cut all the way through them, or geometric shapes cut from their sides. Rolf Snoeren explained, “with the credit crunch and everybody cutting back, we decided to cut tulle ball gowns”. This left for an interesting and somewhat comical display of high fashion.
This collection is a rare connection between the luxury fashion industry and everyday people. Viktor and Rolf have made their brand reflect the same suffering that average people in the world were experiencing. They have drawn humor from a time of great fear and scarceness. This collection breaks down those boundaries of untouchable wealth and success. It provided some aspects of comfort that even the wealthiest were being effected.
It was this relatable message alongside the precision of the cutting and overall presentation, which made the gowns such a success. It is collections like this that provide greater value to the luxury fashion industry. Instead of being unattainable beacons of wealth and social status they can be means of expressing opinions of current world events.
Shah, A 2013, ‘Global financial crisis’, Global Issues, 24 August, viewed 24 August 2012, http://www.globalissues.org/article/768/global-financial-crisis
Phelps, N 2009, Spring 2010 ready-to-wear: Viktor and Rolf, weblog, 24 August, viewed 24 August 2014, http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2010RTW-VIKROLF
Dazed Digital 2010, Viktor and Rolf women’s wear s/s10, weblog, 24 August, viewed 24 August 2014, http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/5246/1/viktor-rolf-womenswear-s-s10
Jones, D 2009,’ Spring/Summer 2010 ready to wear: Viktor and Rolf’, Vogue Magazine, 24 August, viewed 24 August 2014, http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/spring-summer-2010/ready-to-wear/viktor-and-rolf
Viktor and Rolf Spring/Summer 10, viewed 24 August 2014,