We bet you didn't think fashion designers would be the ones to discover and launch a brand new way of seeing the internet.
Like Columbus's discovery that the world was round, Viktor & Rolf, with a little help from filmmaker/artist/writer Liz Goldwyn and Dutch creative directors/filmmakers Lernert & Sander, have discovered that the internet--gasp!--is circular too, rather than box-shaped, like the computer screen you're looking at now.
Is your mind blown? We asked Viktor, Rolf, and Liz Goldwyn, who calls herself the "CEO of HTML" in the video below, to explain. Read on to learn about everything from the "round" concept, to how they met, to yoga classes in Amsterdam, to all the cool stuff Goldwyn has in the works, and to watch the tongue-in-cheek video they collaborated on to introduce the relaunch of Viktor-Rolf.com.
Fashionista: How did you all meet? Viktor & Rolf: We met Liz in San Francisco many years ago when she hosted a dinner for us--it was great fun! Liz is a brilliant actress, artist, filmmaker and thinker--moreover, she is a dear friend. When thinking of the potential CEO of HTML, she naturally came to mind. She's intelligent, modern, doesn't mind a bit of provocation and has a good sense of humor. How did the concept for the video come about? When we decided to redesign our website, we liked the idea to rethink it on an existential level, rethink the basis. We asked Lernert & Sander to collaborate with us on this process and together we thought why should it be rectangular when round is perhaps equally functional (once the rest of the world also sees the light)? The same rigour we apply to our fashion shows and collections, our perfumes and accessories was used while refocusing our presence on the internet.
What was your goal for the new site? We wanted to create something modern, beautiful, complimentary to our visual heritage yet user-friendly. In the lineage of our body of work, the World Round Web makes perfect sense. We are very keen to cherish our archive online, but also to look forward with modernity and momentum. Our new site--as you will discover--is conceptual from the start and in the same manner plays with perception--but it is also very navigable, so we are proud to strike that balance. What's your favorite feature about the new site? We love the clean, modern aesthetic in general and the slight sense of irony, which is something realized in collaboration with Lernert & Sander (the directors). We really understand each other's language and conceptual approach to projects.
Liz, I know you're a filmmaker as well. Did you have any input on the film? Liz Goldwyn: In fact the process was very collaborative. Lernert & Sander allowed me to finesse the script and to have considerable input on the lighting, etc. It's not easy for me to take off my director/producer hat and be content to sit in front of the camera! They were an absolute pleasure to work with. How did you get involved? Liz Goldwyn: Viktor and Rolf and I had been speaking about making a film together for a couple years now, with me directing--possibly even one with dance numbers! When they sent me the script I had to read it multiple times before I realized they wanted me to star! Normally I turn down acting projects (though I have done a few short films) but I knew with them, it would be a fun experience and an excuse to hang out with two of my favorite men in one of my favorite cities, Amsterdam.
What was it like working with them? Liz Goldwyn: Viktor and Rolf are incredible--smart, centered and generous. They had long stem fresh cut roses and chocolates from my favorite place, Puccini Bombini, waiting for me in my hotel room; organized a private tour of the Mike Kelley retrospective at the Stedelijik Museum; and took me for gorgeous dinners every night! Not to mention on set was a breeze, and the incredible clothes I came away with! The funniest part for me, was that Rolf was anxious to take me to yoga with him when we wrapped shooting, so much so that I had to go in full hair and makeup! Glamour down dog! What other projects are you working on right now that you can tell us about? Liz Goldwyn: I am completing work on a new book, Sporting Guide; which is set in Los Angeles, 1897 in the world of prostitution. I have been researching this for the last 8 years. I recently created a live theatrical experience of an 1890s brothel in LA, as part of this work, with performers in specially created sets. The audience could experience the rooms/characters as long as they didn't touch my women! I am working on bringing the production to NY for a longer run. Also in development is a musical/stage adaptation of my burlesque book and documentary, Pretty Things.