Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection

Posted on October 03, 2011

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are famous for sending dramatic, theatrical looks down the runway, but this collection doesn’t seem as refined or as thought-out as previous ones.  Their tendency to play with scale and proportion is still here, with giant whip stitches punctuating many of the looks, but there’s a stiffness here that’s not very appealing; as if these were doll clothes blown up to life size. Maybe that was the intent, but we’re not sensing the wit and cheekiness they’re known for. Most of it just looks awkward to us.

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Collection



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • memorexe

    It is a dollhouse matador collection! I love the oversized stitching—it creates a dramatic overlay silhouette. Speaking of V & R dolls:

  • Kevin VanOrd

    I am not sure that much of this looks fashionable, but if many of these dresses were cakes, I’d eat them.

  • Jean Twaddell

    Some of the pieces look like they could have been done by Pixar using his cut-out techniques.

    • Anonymous

      Who was Pixar again?

  • Deb

    It looks like the cardboard “fashions” we bought as children and then “finished” by threading yarn through the holes in the cards.

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      My thoughts exactly. I remember those well.

    • Anonymous

      OMG you’re right! That’s exactly what they look like!

      • Anonymous

        I loved them, along with paper dolls.  Actually anything you could dress  up and change outfits.

  • Heron

    When you said doll clothes, the whole thing jelled for me.  I think the stiffness and the proportions are very evocative, especially the belts.  So often, the proportion of doll clothing doesn’t match the proportion of the doll itself, and this collection mimics that perfectly.  Not much wearable here, I agree, but I LOVE the sense of whimsy and drama, and there’s a lot that will translate beautifully down to the street.  

  • Anonymous

    These are perfect for Tim Burton’s next crazy movie, featuring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

    • Anonymous

      You say it like it’s a bad thing! :)

    • Anonymous

      I am getting a Tim Burton version of The Wizard of Oz vibe from these clothes!

      • Anonymous

        Love the visual!

  • Anonymous

    I love the jackets in the top 2 photos and the dress (and the one like it) in the 2nd row, middle.  I like the drama of the bottom dress, middle.  The rest, I’m not feeling so much.

    Oh, and the dress in the 2nd to last row, middle…that’s totally an evil queen dress. “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…”

    • Anonymous

      Second row middle was my favorite dress.  I love the styling on 5th row right – I want to be her.  On that second to last row, I was thinking Incredible Hulk at Halloween but Evil Queen works too.

    • Anonymous

      I know, it’s a crazy dress…but I could definitely see Tilda Swinton rocking that thing.

  • Anonymous

    Am loving that short blue swirly dress – that’s exactly the color that does fascinating things to my eyes, and goes great against my skin. WANT!  :)

  • { edi } ilovetrash

    i really really love some the non-whipstitched ones. ie: last look, fourth row. & i just love all the belts in that row. & i like the gown second from the bottom on the right. & i absolutely loved the thumbnail. i was thinking, tho, that it went w/ pants not a gown. i get what theyre trying to do there {even the historical part. i’m just like that, i know things} but i dont necessarily like it. woulda killed for it, however, toned down half a notch & made as a jacket to wear w/ a skirt. the rest of it, ibid exactly: what you said.

  • Matthew Dinda

    I actually really love this collection. I like how the blown-up stitching in some places looks almost like cut-outs, and how the blown-up lace patterns on some of the gowns is both playful and elegant (although I wouldn’t call much of the collection elegant). I’d rather see many more collections as daring and experimental as this one than 10 more bland Gucci collections.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    The last few look like something out of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. That is NOT a compliment.

    • Anonymous

      The costumes in that movie were way better than any of these.

  • Shannon Stewart

    I like some of them without the whip stitches… I just can’t get behind those…

    • accidental housewife

      Can you give me an example of the whip stitches, from the photos above? I don’t know what it means.

  • Kristel

    I like the kind of orange print with the black stitching around the neckline/shoulders/hips, but when the same dress came by in shiny blue with lighter blue stitching… not so much. Somehow the black almost looks like part of the print in the first, but the blue does just look like someone stitched together doll clothes with a shoe-lace.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree, I think it’s really fun and wearable for the right kind of gal. A gal like moi.

  • Anonymous

    I really (REALLY-really)like the “filigree” ones…The three beige ones especially.

    Some of the shoelace ones are okay, but mostly, the collection seems odd. And that could be a compliment in their minds…

    • Karenlibrarian

      Shoelaces!!  That’s exactly it — reminds me of those die-cut toys with shoelaces little kids use to practice lacing stuff.  Hilarious!

  • Anonymous

    I like the colors, and I like the ones with what look to be paisley cut outs. I also like the two silver and pink ones third row from the bottom. 

  • Anonymous

    I assume these are the hoity toity versions of what will be sold in stores? I really like it, and can’t wait for the editorials.

  • Anonymous

    This collection is a little all over the map for me. I think the whipstitch works well on some of the jackets and on the bright blue sheath dress about halfway down. Love that coral strapless ballgown with the big leather belt.

  • Rebecca Johnson

    I dunno, I kinda like this. Bold and eye-catching. I could wear some of these to work (if I was insanely wealthy). That creates a whole other problem, though – this is Viktor and Rolf, not Carolina Herrera. These are the guys that brought you coats with giant foam words imbedded in them, ballgowns that looked like they’d been eaten by enormous moths, and whatever the hell this is: What are they doing designing sensible ladies’ wear? I want my crazy eye candy!!

    • { edi } ilovetrash

      it’s taking the bed w/ you.

    • Anonymous

      That’s the logical conclusion to the snuggie trend.

  • Anonymous

    I only really like the pieces in blue and even then really only the coat and jacket. The dresses with the swirls are the only ones that really look interesting to me.

  • Anonymous

    I really like the whip stitching in some cases, but I agree that other pieces I look at and they just have that indefinable something that makes them look like student work from a designer who has a viewpoint but hasn’t developed that experienced designer eye yet. It’s sort of… too in-your-face?

  • Anonymous

    the clothes look like if Tim Burton did the Nutcracker Suite.

  • Anonymous

    I like it. I don’t know how they could top the cut out dresses from last year, but the difference is, for me, that these are very wearable. I don’t like everything (esp. not the ones with tiers), and to a degree it looks like they took fairly ordinary silhouettes and just added the whip stitches. . . but I like that. It’s great for people who like to wear something that’s not run of the mill, but without being all out crazy or avant garde.

  • Kimberly Burke

    I love the shorter pieces with the swirly cut-outs, but everything else since feels heavy.  Like really heavy.  I like a couple of the whip-stiched ones, but not that many.  A few are cute though.  If they had put more thought into that idea and developed it further, it could have been a collection made of awesome.  JMHO.

  • andy

    These models are being attacked by Technicolor leeches! To the Batcave, Anna Wintour!

    Ha ha, just kidding. Everybody knows models don’t have enough life-giving nutrients to support even one leech, much less a whole colony.

  • Wrenaria

    The shorter dresses with swirlies are really pretty. And I love the second look – I think the heaviness works as a black trenchcoat. But otherwise, meh on a lot of it.

    What’s with that billowy teal dress? It looks like it was snatched out of a completely different collection.

  • Leslie Kim

    did anyone else see the first dress and think the red whipstitches were tongues at first?  like she killed a bunch of people and tore out their tongues as trophies to wear on her dress?

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of cupcakes and wedding cakes.  Not a bad thing necessarily.  

  • MilaXX

    It’s pretty but it feels like an ordinary collection and V & R always felt like fantasy to me. I really like 4th & 7 row. The gowns however, do look very stiff unappealing.

  • aimee_parrott

    I love the middle dress in the second row — that’s adorable and doesn’t look stiff at all.  I do see what you mean about the rest of them looking stiff, yet I can’t help sort of loving them anyway.  They’re fun!

  • Anonymous

    If I were insanely rich, I’d want almost everything here in my closet  (except that I have no desire to air out my upper midriff). Especially the jacket in the middle of the top row, and the royal blue dress with the teal stitching.

  • Anonymous

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the swirl cutout designs.  Just gorgeous.  I feel a quilt coming on…the swirls are really inspiring, and the bright portion of the collection fits right in with my fabric stash (plus I love using black).

    And I actually like the giant whipstitches overall.  I think they’re by far most effective as trim on the jackets, and as edging on the dresses center 2nd and center 8th rows.

  • Lauren Dorsee Dillon

    Don’t like the huge whip stitches, do like the dresses with waist corsets.

  • Anonymous

    I think many of these looks are rather wearable and I would love to own some of them, I dig the stitches too!  Better start saving now I suppose.

  • Liana Brooks

    Sixth row third dress… someone will wear that on the RC.

  • Anonymous

    Ick. I hate all of these.

  • Karenlibrarian

    Those whipstich dresses are just awful, but I LOVE the swirly ones!  Gorgeous.  But what’s with the turquoise dress in the sixth row, right side?  What’s with the giant bows??  It’s hideous and totally incongruous to the rest of the collection.  But what do I know? 

    • Stacy Parker Cole

      Completely agree.  Those whipstich ones look like someone got a little happy with colored duct tape.

    • Anonymous

      Agree completely.  Doll clothes or not, I find the large stitched dresses to look clumsy and childish, while the cut-out swirls are lovely.

  • Anonymous

    I am strangely drawn to the wedding dress, even though she does look like she’s got a dinner napkin on her head.

  • Anonymous

    I love the pieces in the middle with the curlicue elements – that knee-length royal blue coat is amazing!  I was cool with the giant whip stitches in the first two rows, but after that I was done with them.  The wedding cake dress at the end is just silly.

  • Anonymous

    I think the giant stitches work best on the tiered skirts because they echo the layering effect (n particular the short sleeved pale blue dress on the far left in the center row). Otherwise they just look, as you said, stiff and awkward. Why not giant cross-stitch or blanket stitch or zig zag stitch….oh wait — the pink ballgown in the very last row has cross-stitch! 
    The big swirls are kinda interesting although they also remind me of those too-cutesy Naot shoes with the swirls on the toes.

  • Anonymous

    I really like a lot of them.  The left one on the bottom row looks like the Cupcake Candy Sprinkle doll I had as a kid, though.  Does anyone else remember those dolls?  They smelled really good.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    So is there some sort of live action Snow White coming? Because second from bottom, middle dress is totally “evil Disney queen” material.

  • Anonymous

    What’s with the ruffled Joan Collins dress in teal, eighth row right? It looks like crap you could buy at Macys… circa 1985.

  • Pinup Ghoul

    I think this collection is magical, and I can’t wait to see some of them show up on the RC!

  • Jen Freeman

    I like about 5 things out of the collection, the rest looks stiff and strange. But that blue coat? FAB.

  • Roadkill Writer’s Camp

    First reaction was of the Ye Gods! variety, yet on review, I find I several pretty appealing. But the flouncier whip stitches do sorta remind me of gigantic potholder bands. 

  • Anonymous

    I like the swirly curlicues but they look too stiff to wear. I wonder if they would translate well into a print. Or maybe like a damask fabric, but not a heavy brocade.

  • Anonymous

    Fun costumes. But, you know, mostly costumes. No movement.

  • Jordan Adair Stephens

    even though it’s not as strong as past v&r shows, this still blows all of the PR9 finale collections out of the water. not sure if that’s a fair comparison, but whatevs.

  • Anonymous

    There’s some really interesting stuff here though. Love the royal blue/black looks, and the last row, center gown is kinda fab!

  • Kate Connors

    Bottom middle – Katy Perry’s next red carpet.

  • Shinobi

    I saw that first swirly dress and literally gasped.  I like all of those, the stitches, meh.

  • Kate Gorton

    I want to see Helena Bonham carter in that big black & red number with the sleeves.

  • Suzie Vazquez

    i think it’s so fun! :)

  • Praggya R. Barretto

    6th row, 3rd dress – get in my closet right now!

  • Kiltdntiltd

    Myself, I love working with textiles with a very firm hand.  But in this case it seems the garments in movement don’t live up to the images.  There is a majesty, and a potential for sharp edged chic in strongly firm fabrics.  (Look at footage of Balenicaga’s work).  But the super-scaling of the stitch edge looks over used and too childish, so it diminishes the look away from real chic. 
    True to V+R form, the work is superbly crafted, and pushes the envelope a good deal. For that I applaud them always. I love the colors and the pieces with the swirling elements.  Over all though it seems to have about 4 different messages going on at once. Its dissonant.

  • Anonymous

    I love the giant whip stitch!  I think it’s quite clever.  And I rather like the whole “doll clothes” effect.  The third dress in the sixth row and the second dress in the second-to-last row are my favorites.  The swirl pattern in the short one looks very Burton-esque, and the gown reminds me of a caterpillar or a chrysalis. 

  • Fifi LaRoux

    I like the cut out swirls, not so much in love with the over sized stitching.

  • Rachel Council

    I like the cutout, swirly looks but the shiny florals are gross.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes. A little of this goes a long way. That outlier teal outfit really looks bizarre in the context of the collection.

  • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    The giant whip stitch was overused, and only works on a few looks.  I do love the pieces with the burn out scrolls.  Those are quite lovely.  Not that I would have anywhere to wear them….

  • Anonymous

    I really like most of this. I think the whip stitching looks really dramatic. I also like most of the dresses with the cutout patterns–very dramatic. Loved the navy/teal ball gown in the middle picture of the last row. 

    Would LOVE to see Helena Bonham Carter in that black ball gown with the coral whip stitching (middle picture, second to last row).

  • Alyssa Stanfield

    I really like the middle and right dresses in the 7th row, and the left dress on the 8th row. The middle one on the last row is pretty too…it must be that blue I’m digging. I would love to own that blue jacket on the 7th row!!!

  • Anonymous

    With 2 or 3 exceptions (middle gown in last row, & far left on 8th row) I like all of the swirl/paisley cut outs. Probably the most mainstream of which is the dress at far right of 6th row. That one’s kinda sugar plum fairy.

    Only like two of the whipstitched – the thumbnail, and, like {edi} Ilovetrash I liked it better when I imagined it was a jacket – and the long gold coat at left in row 5.

    It’s not mad love but I can see an awful lot of these, especially the long gowns or mix-n-match pieces being worn by the tall-ish and frequently photographed because they are pretty, bold & eyecatching but still wearable.  The “whipstitched” short dresses (or the matched top & skirt ensembles) give the impression of being proportioned wrong (out of scale), as you note.  The row with the fancy belts escapes the oddball proportions but crosses the line from busy into baroque, IMO, and unless that’s the height  of style it has to really, really be the wearer’s “thing” or it comes off as costumey.

  • Goldie

    What is up with the bare midriffs?  This is at least the third collection I’ve seen them in.  Is that coming back into style?  Yuck!

  • Anonymous

    It’s all just kind of ugly and unflattering. I think the oversized stitch idea is probably better in theory, because these clothes look inelegant and weirdly juvenile. The only pieces here I like are the orangey-red dress in the center of the second row and the three swirly-ish dresses in the seventh row. Some of those longer dresses are making the wearer look like a child’s birthday cake, particularly that first pink nightmare in the last row.

  • Anonymous

    It’s painfully clumsy and heavy-handed. 

  • Aplomb Pomilio

    I love most of these. Inventive, creative, bright and fun. 

  • maybe more

    Beautiful! I can see a few of these dresses — the short gold & olive swirled ones in particular — on a red carpet or at a movie premiere. I really wish I could own those blue jackets.

  • Tim Wong

    the looks on row 7 are BY FAR the best looks… they are cheeky yet sophisticated…I also love skirts/tops dresses on row 4.. without the belt… The looks without the stitches are the most beautiful… the only time it worked is on the coat in row 11… because that silhouette is very V&R……the turquoise dress on row 8 is cute.. but it looks like its from a different collection….Most of this looks like barbie clothes… which kids make for their dolls… >_<!!

  • Anonymous

    at least someone didn’t center part the runway models’ hair

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Wow, I actually love this. I love whipstitching anyway, but this exaggerated, colorful version really floats my boat. Love the filligree dresses as well. Fantastic colors. I guess I must be weird, but if I could actually own any of these, I’d love to have them. (Though no designer will ever make anything I could fit into.)

  • Anonymous

    Too much of a good thing.

    • M M

      …or, not enough!

  • Anonymous

    Somehow it manages to evoke those potholders I used to make with a square plastic loom and neon colored elastics…

    But some of it is really beautiful.  The whip-stitched looks and the swirled cutout looks mostly look like they belong to two different collections. 

  • Anonymous

    I think it looks like a giant created clothes for its wee human playthings. Love it, but I’m generally a Viktor and Rolf loving kinda girl.

  • Catherine Rhodes

    The giant whip stitching looks like an overdone gimmick.