Lauren Davis, ALANGOO.com
Here at ALANGOO, we live for wearable art, individually designed pieces of handmade clothing and jewelry created as expressive and fine art pieces. So it goes without saying that we were intrigued when Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf literally took the idea of wearable art to the runway this July. At the mezzanine space of Palais de Tokyo during the Paris’ Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2015 fashion week, the duo transformed bent and broken picture frames with fabric canvases into couture gowns, taking the paintings off the wall and draping them over the models live during the show.
Each model, dressed simply in paint-splattered denim dresses with rolled-up sleeves, designed to look like artists’ smocks, approached the designers and one by one, the duo took each painting off the wall, reconfigured and manipulated them, and placed them over each model to create their garments. Each piece was suddenly transformed from a hanging, stationary painting into a dynamic, free flowing dress. The gold frames created strong silhouettes and the canvas fabric fell to form loose pleats and layers. Viktor & Rolf’s show notes say it all, “Art comes to life in a gallery of surreal proportions. A dress transforms into an artwork, back into a dress and into an artwork again. Poetry becomes reality, morphing back into fantasy.”
As the show progressed, each piece became more colorful and vibrant, all decorated with images based on the Dutch Renaissance of the 17th century. Different motifs, still lives, nudes, swans, painted in the style of Johannes Vermeer and Frans Halls adorned the fabric. While in some places the beige, unpainted backside of the canvas was revealed, aiming to reinforce the idea of each piece as literal wearable art.
These Viktor & Rolf’s wearable art pieces remind us of one of the designers we have on board with us, Iranian painter, designer, and architect Soheil Tavakoli. Tavakoli creates paintings of scenes and monuments of Iran. Each painting is one of a kind, stylishly unique, showcasing a depth of textures, movement, theme and feeling. As Tavakoli’s paintings are on t-shirts, not canvases, they are wearable art.