Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren

PARIS — Design duo Viktor & Rolf have unveiled a capsule collection with historical French lingerie house Aubade.

“In couture, you think in terms of meters. For this, we were forced to think in millimeters,” Viktor Horsting said at a press presentation on Wednesday. “The challenge was really to scale down the design gesture.”

Horsting and Rolf Snoeren merged their signature — a cartoonlike bow that even became a perfume bottle for the brand’s Bonbon fragrance — with the French lingerie house’s celebrated artisanal techniques.

The collection consists of the nine-piece Bow collection, presented in two colors, the pink Bonbon set and the sultry Soir black set.

Tiny lace bows — laser-cut for a graphic finish — are embroidered on mesh bases, culminating in an allover motif on the black T-shirt that is also part of the collection.

Bras come in three styles: Aubade’s best-selling half-cup, a plunging high apex bra and a nonwired triangle bra, with matching briefs. Sizes go up to 90G, with sets priced around 169 euros.

The designers, who show their collections in Paris during couture week, paid particular attention to the back of each bra, a part of the product that is generally overlooked. Two signature bows decorate the fastening and all straps are double, giving the back of each bra a corsetlike finish.

The collaboration, which will be launched in January at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris for fall 2019, will hit Aubade stores worldwide in June 2019.

Viktor & Rolf for Aubade.  Courtesy

It’s the second time the duo has dabbled in lingerie, after designing a set as part of their capsule collection for Swedish high-street retailer H&M back in 2006.

“We did not know the lingerie market at all, so we dived into it kind of innocently,” said Horsting of the Aubade capsule. “We quickly realized that designing lingerie is very different from designing couture.”

The two parties were in talks since April 2017. “Designing is one thing, but the actual product development takes a long time,” explained Martina Brown, deputy general manager of Aubade. “We had to develop the fabrics and prepare them for the allover embroidery.”

The duo is thinking about doing more lingerie in the future, but it’s still early days.

“Couture is like a laboratory for ideas and experimentation,” said Horsting. “There are a lot more restrictions when designing lingerie. But we actually really liked it, perhaps because we are so used to expressing ourselves freely with couture.”

“The work procedure really requires a different type of concentration. You have to think about literally every stitch, every millimeter, every minute detail. It’s very zen in a way, you really have to focus,” he added.

The campaign was photographed in Amsterdam by Viviane Sassen, a close friend of the pair.

“We’ve known Viviane for a very long time, she used to model for us when we were at fashion school,” said Snoeren. “For us, it was important to have a female photographer to shoot the collection, to have a feminine view of lingerie.”

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