The fashion world is facing a deep mutation. The speed of the industry is killing creativity and the increase of smaller collections (all the pre-business) are literally putting the buyers' attention somewhere else and definitely not on the main lines. People are investing more on smaller collections that will stay much longer in stores in opposition to the main ones, that are demanding a lot of time to be created. Do we really need all these clothes? Are we having enough time to enjoy them before they will be replaced by the would-be newer stuff? High fashion is trying to beat the high street fashion with a constant delivery of products through the pre-collections. It's just insane because they don't play with the same rules in terms of sustainability, quality, quantity and innovation. Some brands and some designers are facing this challenge but others are refusing it and are willing to disrupt the system.
Vetements wants to change the deal, re-scheduling the fashion week calendar, stopping the pace of the collections, putting the industry in the right direction, bringing the focus on the garments only, offering a men's and women's collection, one in January and another in June, giving enough time to create, produce and deliver them in the right conditions. The industry needs changes to survive and it needs to produce clothes people want to wear. Demna Gvasalia and his Vetements pals are there to bring back this emotion sending on the catwalk a top where you can read "are we having fun yet". Simple things are often the most meaningful, trivial things can be the most thoughtful ones. Their Autumn Winter 16 collection focuses on disrupting the school uniform and celebrating it in a sacred place, the American Church of Paris. The metaphor is obvious when you think of all the sacred pieces people can't help wearing everyday like all these slogans sweatshirts, the t-shirts & hoodies they are sending on the catwalk and that have become classic staples of the Vetements wardrobe. These slogans are pretty clever, some are paying a tribute to 90's pop culture ("may the bridges I burn light the way" from Dylan McKay of 90210 Beverly Hills), others are nodding to present day obsessions ("Justin4forever"), some are just sweet provocations ("you fuck'n asshole", "drink me and live forever", "sexual fantasies"), all these slogans don't need much interpretation. They are just out there for fun. That's probably the word to remember when you think of all these irreverent silhouettes. The same mood comes out of the school uniforms that are not so classic. The "unskinny" tailoring they are introducing is following the same direction. What is classic here is all the sporty suits signature of the brand such as the tracksuits, the wind-breaker jackets and the bombers they are pairing with tailored pieces featuring exaggerated sleeves. Collection after collection, they are editing newer pieces, making the Vetements wardrobe filled with pieces people want to buy here and now!
Pictures by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
Demna Gvasalia has also given to Balenciaga the same direction. focusing on creating a wardrobe producing an instant moment of pleasure. Balenciaga has a very recognizable silhouette, it has to stand out there in the streets. No need to look back to the past to come up with a new silhouette because he only had three months to deliver something new. There is no time for a transition collection. The designer had to move fast without thinking of the heavy legacy of the house. That's what he focused on with this AW16 collection that combines sportswear with luxury. It looks easy for him to go over the Balenciaga DNA. When you think of his background and what he has accomplished with Margiela,Vuitton and now Vetements, he has a lot of things in common with Cristobal Balenciaga; think of the design, the structure and shape, everything makes sense! Every silhouette is viral and it will haunt the industry for a long time, certainly breaking the internet on this Sunday morning. This collection focuses on voluminous and off-shoulders silhouettes. Tailoring is sharp in the plaid hourglass jackets adding a lot of curve to the looks and paired with slit or big pleated skirts having so much movement when they are making their appearance on the catwalk. The puffas and wind-breaker jackets are majestic in vivid color-block worn over cigarette trousers embellished by cut-out hems whose finishing touch reminds me of the artisanal Vetements denim, perfectly going hand in hand with the jewelry stilettos. Flower power silhouettes hit the catwalk made out of complex patchworks and paired with sexy patent high-heeled boots. Shiny knitted ensembles are perfect with the stunning raw platform boots. Giant multi-color totes are the ones to buy, adding a bright touch of color to the intense leather trench coats. In only one collection, Demna has succeeded in making Balenciaga shine over Paris, becoming like Vetements the brand people couldn't stop talking about!
Pictures via Dazed
Words by Yann Sackville-West