A highschool senior who’s a stylist at a renowned fashion magazine posted a lengthy note on Facebook yesterday containing a list of what Vetements is. This list was long, full of contradicting statements ‘very little money: Vetements, lots of money: Vetements, knowing fashion: Vetements, not knowing fashion: Vetements.’. ‘Vetements’ which translates to ‘clothes’ doesn’t give much cue to understand what Demna Gvasalia is trying to do. His training at Margiela gave the basis of proclivity to deconstruct clothes, and so far he chose garments and articles of clothings that are commonplace; sweatshirts, jeans, and t-shirts. But it’s not just that, these clothes appropriate big corporate logos like DHL, skate magazine Thrasher and over at Balenciaga (where Mr Gvasalia is Creative Director) Bernie Sanders’ logo campaign and Kering’s owl (Balenciaga parent’s company). Some of this appropriation is funny and ironic when you look at it but then when you wear it, do you then become the joke? At Balenciaga, thai plastic laundry bags have been appropriated to leather ‘bazar’ totes. ‘Thrasher magazine’? ‘May the bridges I burn light the way’? Do people who wear these on their expensive funky-fitting hoodies know what these are? Do they need to know? The hype is everywhere and the clothes are worn by Kanye, Bieber, Rihanna, to drop some familiar names.
When asked what Vetements is about and his answer was atitude. What kind of attitude? Actively immersing oneself in fashion? Maybe, because then you won’t be stranger to the name Vetements and not surprised as to why everyone’s in a baggy hoodie and wearing a sock-shoe mutation. Obviously, it includes other reasons why it’s not a crime to want to present yourself in the best posible way, one of which is through what you wear. Maybe not, because it’s still flirting with the idea of effortlessness, naturally cool and ‘just happen to’ pick this coat over another, ‘understanding’ this brand before everyone else did. Someone who rebels against the corporate capitalist system? But also wears +£500 hoodie that’s supposed to speak of it in some way? Fashion victim or fashion conscious? At first it gets confusing with this street-style, deconstructed, don’t-give-a-damn vibe that draws references from skater kids, your delivery guy, and more recently, everyone on the street of Paris, apparently. After his appointment as the creative director of Balenciaga, doing the same thing just feels a little out of touch with the reality that contains the system that he’s presumably fighting against. On the design front, it’s even more worrying to think that these are deconstructed clothes that are respectable to bear the legacy of Christobal Balenciaga. Because they don’t look like they rethink the space and construction between the clothes and the body, but merely put everyone in 2 sizes bigger than their actual size. I have never tried them on to feel the hug of the material, so maybe I need to hold back on that comment. But, tell me, are you buying this? If so, why?