Haute Uniform

Surreal design and big statements on the runway are their trademarks: Viktor & Rolf cut down their collections to twice a year and Haute Couture only, partly to focus on their vision – but this cut also made room for innovative collaborations. Like their most recent one: a uniform for Berlin based Hotel SO/ Berlin Das Stue. Ruffled blouses, cute animal patterns: Viktor & Rolf took the stiffness out of classic uniforms and added a playful note. Inspirational outfits that match the hotel’s arty vibe yet align with their high fashion approach. The pieces are so charming that it makes fashion fanatics consider a career in the hotel business – and some guests probably a bit jealous (a special edition PJ set is on sale though.)  We met the surprisingly shy designers Viktor Horsting und Rolf Snoeren to talk about their inspiration – on both Haute Couture and uniforms.


What’s most fascinating to you about fashion?

Viktor: Our fascination for fashion started when we were teenagers. It is important to state this, because when we were teenagers, the internet didn’t exist, and fashion was something very mysterious and difficult to attain. It was not very available – therefore different from where it is now. And exactly this mystery and this glamour was very appealing. Fashion was like a different universe that had a certain mysterious aura. Haute Couture has always been a laboratory for ideas – for us, it is where we can experiment. The sky is the limit.

So, fashion is a form of art to you?

Last year, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and we did it with an exhibition, a selection of the work we´ve done till now, like an edit, and we call it “Fashion Artists”. That sums up how we think about it.

Rolf: For us it’s a way to express ourselves. It is not just the clothes of the season.

Are you creating out of an inner need or to make something women will wear?

Viktor: No, we never think of somebody that can wear it, we don’t have specific celebrities that we want to dress. For us it’s really how can we express ourselves, how we can tell a story that resonates with people.

You created a uniform for a hotel – how did you handle the limits? Most of your Haute Couture creations wouldn’t even fit through the front door…

Rolf: We didn’t feel limited, we knew that it was not going to be the same as Haute Couture. We also enjoy working with certain constrains for this type of projects. A concern we had in the beginning was whether it would be possible to create something lively and feel creative. We had no experience designing uniforms. We didn’t set out to achieve the same effect as we do with Haute Couture.

Another uniform you’d like to design?

Viktor: Oh yes, the one for the fashion police!


Laura Dunkelmann
Dezember 9, 2019
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