Viktor & Rolf Select The New Class At ITS9
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren—better known simply as Viktor & Rolf—chaired the jury of ITS9, the annual launching-pad competition for young designers in their final year of school, held this weekend in Trieste on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. That made good sense: The designers were themselves launched by a young talent competition back in 1992, at France’s Festival d’Hyères. They were only 23, and their line, such as it was, was young enough that it didn’t even have a name. “I remember when it was announced we had won,” Snoeren recalled. “We were asked to come on stage, but we had no name yet, so they just said: ‘Viktor & Rolf.’ ” And the rest, as they say, is history.
The duo and their fellow jurors settled on Takashi Nishiyama, 23, of Japan’s Coconogacco design school for the Fashion Collection of the Year prize and its €15,000 award. Nishiyama’s collection, with its voluminous layers, was inspired by Monster Hunter, the console video and online game that’s become immensely popular in Japan (above left). South Korea’s Yong Kyun Shin, 28, a student at Central Saint Martins, won the Fashion Special Collection Creativity award (and €5,000) for his complex women’s collection made from tens of thousands of hair pins, some covered with leather (above right.). And Michael Kampe, 23, a student at Belgium’s Hogeschool in Antwerp, took the ITS9 Diesel award, which comes with a six-month internship in design at the company and €25,000. His menswear—perhaps more theoretical than wearable—was inspired by the exploded-view drawings and blueprints used by engineers and the artwork of Naoya Hatakeyama, E.V. Day, Lucy McRae, Florian Baudrexel, and Lebbeus Woods. If you get all of those references, an application to ITS10 should probably be in your future.
Finalist Niels Peeraer, 21, from Antwerp’s Hogeschool, didn’t take an official prize, but he got a pretty nice consolation one: Romain Brau and Anna Kushnerova of Antwerp’s new concept store Ra were so taken with his furs, draped silk jersey minidresses, and men in heels that they’ve promised him an in-store installation and party when Ra hits its first anniversary next fall. “All my friends at school are Japanese, and for as long as I can remember I’ve thought of myself as a geisha,” explains the designer, who has been teaching himself to read and write Japanese. In September, Peeraer will begin his postgraduate studies for a master’s in fashion, but this August he’s taking his dream trip to Japan, crashing with newfound friends picked up on the cheap—at Couchsurfing.org.