Thursday, July 24, 2008
Viktor and Rolf are heralded by fashionistas and critics as the most creative duo in the world of design. Together they create whimsically serious clothes with a touch of romance and a practical sensibility underneath the dramatic ruffles and pleating. Each season is a surprise, every show a spectacle, the results always thought-provoking. Rarely do designers push us to consider why we wear certain clothes; Viktor and Rolf do, and also ask the question of “Why not?”
For example, in 2005 the Dutch duo provoked us all with an inquiry into the violent state of the world with a collection of contrasts, or perhaps of befores and afters, in one of the most epic shows of the past few years:
The New York Times reports that the Viktor & Rolf label has been acquired by Only the Brave, the Italian company that owns Diesel. This raises well-groomed eyebrows as latest unlikely purchase of a high-end label by a commercial group. Only the Brave controls small-ish denim labels, and their Viktor & Rolf venture will be their first foray into high-end cool, including red-carpet gowns, patent leathers and of course the fragrances.
For those of us who aren't familiar, here are some of Diesel’s latest designs:
How the Diesel owners' “controlling stake” will affect Viktor & Rolf remains to be seen. Likely the team will continue with idea(l)s of frivolity and fantasy, and with a juggernaut of a denim group behind them perhaps we can expect some V & R jeans next season. Flip flops are unlikely to make a runway appearance. While more resources will benefit the designers, the larger question remains: how far should the acquisition and conglomeration of labels go before big is too big?