The autumn-winter 2020 collection by Vetements, the first since Demna Gvasalia’s departure, is 100% Vetements. “We want to strip down the bullshit of the industry,” summed up Guram Gvasalia, the brand’s co-founder. “Somehow in fashion the spotlight went away from the clothes,” he remarked, “and for me this is why people like Margiela are so iconic because he never appeared and it was always about the clothes.” So, flashlights were sent as invites, and an announcement was made at the beginning of the show that the audience should turn on their phone torches to be able to see it. Design-wise, the line-up was all about Vetements classics – over-sized duvet-jackets, heavy metal-inspired prints, hoodies and t-shirts with ironic signs, trench coats, leathers – with a bigger focus on tailoring. But what really struck (and confused) the audience was the model casting. The lookalike Kate Moss, Snoop Dog, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone and Naomi Campbell were all a surprise. “I would have loved to have the real Naomi,” Guram shrugged. “But as a young company I am afraid we cannot afford it.” The game of real or fake has always been part of the brand. Love it or hate it, but Vetements still knows how to catch the attention.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.
The phenomenon of Vetements.
Vetements. It sparks controversy, instant love (or hate), causes confusion and discomfort, makes you question fashion (and laugh at it!), it polarises its viewers… one thing’s sure, Vetements, in its six years of existence, never left a mild, plain impression. While the future of the label is quite unknown – the head of its design collective, Demna Gvasalia, parted ways with label to focus on Balenciaga – the body of work it has left in the latter half of the 2010s still surprises. From the „collaboration” collection (which featured tracksuits made in co-operation with Juicy Couture, tailoring done with Brioni or satin shoes created with Manolo Blahnik) to that one line-up that nodded to the history and the modern day state of Georgia (Gvasalia’s homeland), Vetements always focused on such un-fashion topics like politics or life in general (the autumn-winter 2019 had a word or two regarding our increasingly violent, voyeuristic and isolating society). Other memorable Vetements highlights? The infamous DHL t-shirt. That time when they showed in a sex club or in the cheesiest Chinese restaurant in the entire Paris (speaking of Vetements and food, they showed their SS20 in the most Vetements place ever – McDonald’s). And of course, you just can’t ignore the fact that Vetements changed fashion in the 2010s: over-sized hoodies, trashy looks, cowboys boots, post-Soviet aesthetic, second-wave obsession with Margiela – all that went (super) mainstream thanks to the label’s impact. Will it still affect (and disturb) fashion in the 2020s? Who knows.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.