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Three 'Van Gogh Girls' outfits by Viktor & Rolf on display at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Viktor&Rolf, Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture. Look 18, Yumi Lambert. Photo: Peter Stigter.

ROTTERDAM.- Three creations from Viktor & Rolf’s spring/summer 2015 haute couture collection ‘Van Gogh Girls’ will be shown at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from 5 December to 14 February 2016. Art collector Han Nefkens bought the three outfits, including the spectacular finale outfit, during Paris Fashion Week and gave them on a long-term loan to the museum. The collection is made up of A-line babydoll dresses with flower prints combined with exuberant straw hats and flip-flops. With each successive dress more and more of the flowers come to life, eventually expanding to create enormous sculptural silhouettes.

The straw hats give a surreal nod to rustic country life and eventually fuse with the dresses to form a unified whole. All the fabrics were produced by VLISCO using traditional batik-inspired painting and printing techniques.

Conceptual haute couture
Viktor Horsting (1969) and Rolf Snoeren (1969) are well known for their conceptual haute couture and unorthodox fashion shows. In the past they have presented an entire collection layer by layer on a single model, presented their clothes in a thick mist, hosted a fashion show only online, and sent models down the catwalk with light and sound installations strapped to their shoulders. Their conceptual collections often blur the distinctions between fashion and art.

Van Gogh as inspiration
For this collection Viktor&Rolf took their inspiration from the raw energy of Vincent van Gogh’s depictions of the countryside. Nature was his consolation and an inexhaustible source of new motifs for his art. This year is the 125th anniversary of the death of the artist who continues to inspire people all around the world.

Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge
The special partnership between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge, in association with José Teunissen, has provided a platform for innovative fashion designers for almost a decade. Han Nefkens: ‘It gives me great pleasure that these creations by the leading Dutch couturiers will be seen by a large audience in the museum. For me it represents much more than simply being the owner of the works; I want to share a vision with other people.’ Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge has previously acquired outfits by Walter van Beirendonck, Craig Green, Regina Pyo and Christophe Coppens and given them on a long-term loan to the museum.

Han Nefkens and Viktor & Rolf have enjoyed a lengthy partnership. Pieces from Viktor&Rolf’s ‘Zen Garden’ collection were included in the exhibition ‘The Future of Fashion is Now’ at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, an initiative of Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge. The exhibition is now on display at the OCAT in Shanghai until 28 February 2016. It will then travel to the Hua Gallery in Shenzhen from 26 March to 31 July 2016.

Also on show: ‘Blue and Red’ by Zhou Tao
In 2013 the Chinese artist Zhou Tao was the first winner of the BACC Bangkok Asian Contemporary Art Award organised by the Han Nefkens Foundation. The award included a residency in Bangkok during which Zhou Tao made a new film entitled ‘Blue and Red’ (2014). The film was made during a turbulent period in Thailand’s political life with violent skirmishes between anti-government demonstrators and the army, a situation that threatened to develop into civil war. Despite this reference, Zhou Tao’s film is not a social or political documentary, but is rather a poetic reflection of everyday reality. ‘Blue and Red’ will be screened in the museum from 5 December.

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